Egypt's World Cup player profiles: Mohamed El-Shennawi, the novice goalkeeper

Ahram Online, Wednesday 13 Jun 2018,
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 Mohamed Al-Shenawi

Mohamed El-Shennawi, a 29-year-old, only launched his international career last March in friendly against Portugal. He spent most of his career in middle-table teams before returning to his boyhood club Ahly in the summer of 2017.

He was warming the bench for half of the season but managed to overpower regular starter Sherif Ekramy at the start of 2018.

The turning point came following Ahly's loss in the African Champions League final against Moroccan side Wydad de Casablanca.

Ekramy came under fire for a string of shaky performances and El-Shennawi was promoted to his place, grasping his chance with both hands as he produced some convincing displays between the sticks to help Ahly to a third straight league title, their 40th overall.

El-Shennawi made his first Egypt appearance against European champions Portugal in a friendly played in Switzerland. Egypt led 1-0 until stoppage time before two last-gasp headers from Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo turned the match on its head and gave Portugal a win.

Despite the loss, El-Shennawi looked composed in goal, leading to speculation that he could be Egypt's regular custodian at the World Cup, especially after Zamalek's Ahmed El-Shennawi picked up a serious injury that ruled him out of the tournament.

However, coach Hector Cuper is unlikely to give him a starting berth, given his lack of sufficient international experience.

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