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New coach Hector Cuper vows to regain Egypt's winning rhythm

With the 2017 Africa Cup and 2018 World Cup qualifiers set to kick off later this year, the Argentinean coach is optimistic about the Pharaohs' future

Mohamad Mosselhi , Tuesday 10 Mar 2015
Hector Cuper
Hector Cuper of Argentina, right, the new head coach of Egypt's national soccer team displays an Egyptian jersey during a press conference at the soccer federation headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, March 10, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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Egypt's new coach Hector Cuper has expressed his delight at being named as the Pharaohs' new coach, and said that he would do his best to bring the team back to its former glory.

"My goal is to build a new team for Egypt and to make it capable of regaining its winning rhythm," Cuper told the press at his official presentation as national coach on Tuesday.

"I will do my best to help the Pharaohs regain their former glory," he added.

The seven-time African champions have failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations since 2010, when they clinched their last continental title under the guidance of Egyptian coach Hassan Shehata.

In a surprise move, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) last week announced that they had reached a final agreement with Hector Cuper to replace sacked coach Shawki Gharib, dismissed after Egypt failed to qualify for the Africa Cup for the third time in a row.

Cuper, 59, has officially signed a three-year contract with the EFA until the end of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

However, there is a cancellation clause in the deal if he fails to reach the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

"I am very happy to work in Egypt," he said. "When I received the offer I didn't think twice."

"Egypt is a big name on the continent, with a great history. I hope to achieve more success here."

The former Valencia and Inter Milan coach, who has never before worked in Africa, added that his sufficient knowledge of Egyptian football and players would help him to adapt quickly.

"I know a lot of things about Egyptian football," he said. "There are a lot of talents and good players and I know how to deal with them."

"I know Salah and I watched him during Fiorentina's last games," Cuper concluded. "He is a good player but a football team includes 11 players, not just one."

The newly-appointed coach will have around three months before the serious business begins, as the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers are set to start in June, followed by the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in October.

The first challenge will be to bounce back into Africa's football elite after three failed attempts in a row at qualifying for the Africa Cup.

But the ultimate aim is to achieve the long-held dream of qualifying for the World Cup, a moment Egyptians haven't savoured since 1990.

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