Egypt's World Cup player profiles: Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, the experienced full-back

Tuesday 12 Jun 2018,
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Mohamed Abdel-Shafi

Full-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi is one of few players who are guaranteed a starting berth at the World Cup. The 32-year-old is way past his prime but remains Hector Cuper's most reliable choice on the left flank.

Abdel-Shafi who is known for his consistency, failed to establish himself this season with Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah-based club Al-Ahli, where he has played since the summer of 2014.

He lost his place as regular starter and was loaned in January to middle-table side Al-Fateh with reports suggesting that Al-Ahli will offload him this summer, although he still has one year reaming on his contract with the club.

The former Zamalek full-back, who is one of four players remaining from Egypt's golden generation that won the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, made his international debut in a friendly game against Malawi in December 2009.

He has become Egypt's regular left back since 2014, earning 49 international caps so far, thanks to a series of consistent displays down the flank. His work rate is impressive and he has a tendency to push forward and whip in crosses.

His absence always poses a major problem for coach Cuper, who has no reliable alternatives. In the last Nations Cup in early 2017, Cuper introduced Lens full-back Karim Hafez to make up for the absence of the injured Abdel-Shafi but his shaky display prompted the Argentinean to eventually deploy natural right-back Ahmed Fathi on the left.

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