Recent Bundesliga champion, Egypt striker Mohamed Zidan believes that the Pharaohs should stick to the hope of qualifying for the 2012 African Cup of Nations (ACN).
“We are in a critical situation, but that doesn’t mean that qualifying for the finals is impossible,” the player said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
Egypt lies at the bottom of group E of the Guinea and Gabon tournament qualifiers with a solitary point from a possible nine, six points behind leaders South Africa.
“We must win the three remaining games. Our mission is difficult because we will have to wait for the other teams' results, especially South Africa’s.
“If they fail to progress in the coming matches, our hopes for qualifying will be revived,” he explained.
Egypt dominated the African scene for the last six years as they won three successive African cup of nations titles in 2006, 2008 and finally 2010, but they were off their top form in the recent qualifications.
“Losing the top form is normal as we were at the top for the last five years. Any football team has its own ups and downs,” explained the experienced hitman.
“Winning three successive continental titles is a rare achievement in football. We were unlucky as the drop period came in the crucial qualifications,” he added.
The Pharaohs' hopes of reaching the 2012 African Cup of Nations were dealt a blow by a stunning 1-0 defeat in South Africa last March, and the team’s lack of preparation was a main reason for the defeat according to Zidan.
“All football activities had been halted since the start of the 25 January revolution, which affected our preparations for South Africa’s game negatively,” the BVB star concluded.
The 29-year old player has described winning this season’s Bundesliga title with his club Borussia Dortmund as a historical achievement as he is the first Arabian and Egyptian player to win the title ever.
The two-time African cup of nation’s champion will have a golden chance to play with his club in the European Champions League next season.