Arab Cup prepares Egypt for ‘main target’ World Cup: Coach Queiroz

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 27 Nov 2021

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz believes the FIFA Arab Cup would be a good preparation for both the Africa Cup of Nations next year and the final stage of the World Cup qualifiers in March, stressing that the national team’s door is open to new players in the coming period.

Coach Queiroz

The FIFA Arab Cup will run from 30 November to 18 December in Doha.

Egypt were drawn in Group D of the FIFA Arab Cup alongside Algeria and the winners of the games between Sudan and Lebanon.

In its opening game, Egypt will play against Lebanon on Wednesday.

“Our target from the FIFA Arab Cup is to prepare our players for the World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations. This doesn’t mean that we won’t compete for the Arab Cup title, but our main target is reaching the World Cup finals,” the 68-year old Queiroz told a press conference on Saturday ahead of travelling to Doha.

Egypt will play at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in January 2022.

Under the guidance of Queiroz, Egypt recently secured a place at the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers which will be played next March in the home and away form against another group leader.

“We will be choosing the Africa Cup of Nations’ squad from 40 players. Also we are settled on the basic elements for the World Cup final qualifying round games and the team’s door is open to any good player who proves himself in the coming period without any conditions,” the Egypt coach explained.

“We should look to the future and we must call young players. The World Cup may be held every two years and so we should build a new generation that could compete in all competitions.

“We are monitoring all the foreign-based players and sure we will play friendly games ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations,” he added.

In the final round of the World Cup qualifiers, Egypt are placed in the second pot as the country are sixth in the African ranking according to the FIFA’s latest ranking, and consequently they will have to face one of the top-five ranked teams during the March playoffs.

“The ranking in the playoffs isn’t important at all for me. The team that prepared well will win and so preparation is the most important thing,” Queiroz concluded. 

Arab Cup journey

Last week, Queiroz, who has been appointed in September, announced the final 23-man squad for the Arab Cup which is seen as a dress rehearsal for next year's World Cup finals, which will also be hosted in Qatar.

The Portuguese coach didn't call any of the foreign-based players in the Arab Cup squad, with the tournament falling outside of the normal international calendar.

The Arab Cup comprises 23 Arab nations, including several North African and Asian heavyweights, such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.

The nine highest-ranked teams were automatically given group-stage spots. They will be joined by the seven winners of the qualifying stage. The top two in each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

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