Egypt's playmaker El-Said hails short spell with Kuopion, hopes for strong World Cup showing

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 19 May 2018

Abdallah El-Said

Egypt's playmaker Abdallah El-Said says he has benefited a lot from his short experience in the Finnish league, and he is hoping for a prominent appearance with the Pharaohs at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

El-Said, who is widely regarded as one of the most important players in Egypt, has just ended his loan spell to Finnish club Kuopion Palloseura after around 40 days.

"I benefited a lot at the technical level from the coach in Kuopion. I played as a defensive midfielder and that was an outstanding experience for me. I am very happy to work under that coach," El-Said told Kuopion's official TV channel after his last game with the club on Friday.

El-Said, who created two goals in seven matches with Kuopion, joined the Finnish side to remain in action until the World Cup, as he had been put on the market by Ahly on 14 March, just a few hours after announcing his two-year contract renewal.

The selling decision was a disciplinary action by Ahly after learning of the player's signing with arch-rivals Zamalek ahead of the signing of his new contract.

World Cup hopes

The 32-year-old star played an instrumental role in helping Egypt reach the World Cup after a 28-year absence.

He has been called up for Egypt's last training camp before the anticipated tournament begins in mid-June.

The Pharaohs are scheduled to play three friendly matches in the camp; Kuwait on 25 May, then Colombia, then Belgium on 6 June. 

"The World Cup is the most important tournament in the world. I hope that we deliver a good performance there," said El-Said, who won four Egyptian league titles, two African Champions Leagues, a Confederation Cup and an Egyptian Cup, among other minor accolades since his arrival to Ahly.

"After a long absence, our ambition is to have a prominent appearance in Russia," he concluded.

Egypt have been drawn in Group A at the World Cup alongside Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and host Russia.

Egypt will kick-off their Group A games against Uruguay on 15 June, four days before facing hosts Russia and then ending the group stage against Saudi Arabia on 25 June.

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