Egypt's 2019 AFCON player profiles: Soliman back in favour in twilight of career

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Jun 2019,
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Walid Soliman
Egypt's Walid Soliman in action with Tanzania's Gadiel Michael (Photo: Reuters)

Many pundits wondered how Ahly winger Walid Soliman was snubbed by Egypt coach Javier Aguirre while he was enjoying a superb run of form in the first half of the season.

A frustrated Soliman announced his international retirement at the time before a serious knee injury sidelined him for months. He returned to action in the latter stages of the season.

Just when it seemed the 34-year-old's international career was over, he earned a surprise Egypt call-up for the African Cup of Nations on home soil.

Mexican boss Aguirre said Soliman was named in the squad because his experience was vital in Egypt's bid to win a record-extending eighth Nations Cup title.

"Our priority was to build a new Egyptian team capable of playing in the 2022 World Cup and not to win the 2019 Nations Cup thus I opted for young players instead of veterans," Aguirre told news conference.

"But after the decision to host the Nations Cup our plans were changed and winning the title at home became our priority and I need some experienced  players in the team''

"Soliman is an excellent player and I know well his great capabilities.''

Soliman is an energetic winger whose silky moves often bamboozle defenders.

He made 22 international appearances with the Pharaohs, scoring once against Qatar in a friendly.   

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