Egypt's 2019 AFCON player profiles: Striker Ahmed Ali reaches peak at 33

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 13 Jun 2019,
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 Ahmed Ali

A surprise inclusion in Egypt's squad, Ahmed Ali hit top form in the twilight of his career.

The 33-year old is enjoying his best ever season, having scored 18 goals with Arab Contractors to top the Egyptian Premier League's scoring chart.

Although Egypt coach Javier Aguirre has been reluctant to pick any over-30 players since taking over in August last year, Ali's red-hot form was so tempting for the Mexican boss.

A burly striker who is dominant in the air, Ali can play the role of the classic number 9, especially given the lack of reliable out-and-out frontment in Egypt's roster. 

The former Zamalek and Ismaily man made his Egypt debut in August 2010 under former coach Hassan Shehata, who famously led the team to a hat-trick of Nations Cup triumphs in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

He made seven international appearances, the last of which came in a Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa in June 2011. He also netted four goals.

Ali opened his international account when he scored twice in a 6-3 friendly win over DR Congo in August 2010.

He also participated in the 2010 Nations Cup qualifiers, playing two games against Sierra Leone and Niger.

Ali scored again for Egypt in 2011 against Tanzania and Burundi in international friendly games. 

He was most recently selected by Aguirre in November but was then dropped due to injury. He hopes to finally make an impact in his first major tournament with the Pharaohs as he may not have another chance.

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1