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Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Egypt's Kouka ready for national team duty, proud of his European career

Kouka says he has two major objectives in sight with the Pharaohs: the World Cup in 2022 and the Africa Cup of Nations in the same year

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 4 Sep 2020
Kouka
Egypt's striker Kouka (Reuters)
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Olympiacos’ Egyptian striker Ahmed “Kouka” Hassan has expressed his desire to be part of Egypt’s national squad, adding that he is proud of his professional career in Europe.

Kouka was on the Egypt U-23 national team during the FIFA World Cup in Colombia in 2011 and in Turkey in 2013 and he found the net two times in the latter tournament, but was left out of Egypt’s senior national team in Russia in 2018.

"They were difficult days when I was out of Egypt’s national team for the 2018 World Cup, as I did my best to represent my country at such a big football event, but as a professional player I agreed with the coach’s decision," Kouka was quoted as saying during an interview with FIFA.com.

The 27-year-old forward was named the player of the Greek league play-offs last week, having been instrumental in Olympiacos’ triumphant campaign to secure their 45th Super League title.

"I decided to march on in my football career to achieve something worthwhile; then I won the Super League title with Olympiacos this season," he added.

Kouka, who was loaned to Olympiacos by Portuguese side Braga in January, completed a permanent move to the Greek giants by signing a three-year deal this summer.

Under the helm of Egyptian tactician Hossam El-Badry, the Olympiacos striker was called up to the Egypt team during the preparations for the 2022 World Cup and the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

"I thank coach Hossam El-Badry for his support and his continued contact with me. I promise him I will develop my performance to achieve the national team's goals,” he said.

"We have two big missions: to qualify for the 2022 World Cup and competing for the African Cup of Nations title.”

A former Rio Ave and Braga striker, Kouka scored four goals and provided one assist in Olympiacos’ nine games in the Super League play-offs, taking his goal tally to eight this season.

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