Buzzing with excitement at their first World Cup appearance in 28 years, it might not matter much for Egypt who would they face at next year’s Russia finals, yet one opponent has been singled out as truly scary.
Despite their few appearances in global showpieces, Egypt have proved party poopers against the world’s fancied national teams more than once, holding then European champions the Netherlands to a 1-1 draw at the 1990 World Cup and stunning then world champions Italy with a 1-0 win at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
But any hopes Egypt can cause another upset against teams with such a pedigree when they make their third World Cup appearance next year could be extinguished if they were paired with the mighty Germans in Friday’s draw in Moscow.
Although there are a handful of other teams who may toy with a less experienced Egypt side, The Mannschaft’s ruthlessness goes the extra mile.
The Germans are renowned for never resting on their laurels even when they have a comfortable lead, having brutally demolished record five-time winners Brazil 7-1 in the Selecao’s homeland in the 2014 World Cup semis when a win by a three or four-goal margin would have done the required damage.
For outsider opponents, matters are far worse. Saudi Arabia’s 8-0 defeat at the hands of Germany at the 2002 World Cup is clear evidence.
“I don’t really care about who are we going to face because all World Cup games are difficult; we can face Brazil or Germany for example,” Egyptian Football Association president Hani Abou-Reida told an Egyptian radio station.
“But personally, I would like to avoid Germany in particular because they have been brilliant the past two years,” he said of the team that won the 2014 World Cup for their fourth triumph.
The German embassy in Cairo posted a congratulatory message to Egypt following their qualification for the World Cup last month, saying Germany hope to face the Pharaohs in a “heated match” at the Russia finals.
The message was met by sarcasm from Egyptian social media users, who made their wish clear.
“No, we don’t want to play against your team, which is too brutal. Look what you did to Brazil in Belo Horizonte, so what can we expect when you play against us?” said one user.
Ironically, the last time both sides met Egypt won 2-1 in a friendly in 1958, thanks to goals from Refaat El-Fanagily and Saleh Selim.
Egypt were placed in pot 3 for the draw while Germany, naturally, were placed in pot 1.
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