Egypt’s Salah, Elneny, Abdel-Moneim selected in Nations Cup Best XI

Ahram Online , Monday 7 Feb 2022

Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been selected in the Best XI of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations alongside Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Ahly defender Mohamed Abdel-Moneim.

Egypt s Mohamed Abdel-Moneim (L), Egypt s forward Mohamed Salah (M) and Egypt s midfielder Mohamed Elneny (R)

The three players have been outstanding performers, boosting Egypt to the 10th Nations Cup final only to lose to Senegal on penalties 4-2 after a scoreless draw in regular time.

The 23-year-old Abdel-Moneim was a major revelation for the Pharaohs, as he started on the bench but then became a key player in defence following successive injuries from Mahmoud “El-Wensh” Hamdi and Ahmed Hegazi.

Abdel-Moneim displayed a commanding performance in his first ever major tournament, claiming two Man of the Match awards as he managed to keep at bay some elite strikers, including the likes of Cote d’Ivoire’s Sebastien Haller, Nicolas Pepe and Wilfred Zaha, Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri, and Cameroon’s deadly pair Vincent Aboubakar and Karl-Toko Ekambi, who scored 13 goals between them.

Left back Ahmed Aboul Fottouh and central defender El-Wensh have been named among the substitutes. Surprisingly, Mohamed Abou-Gabal missed the cut despite an outstanding performance that was vital for Egypt in this campaign.

Champions Senegal had the lion’s share with four players in the starting 11: Sadio Mane, Nampalys Mendy, Saliou Ciss and keeper Edouard Mendy and two others on the bench: Kalidou Koulibaly and Famara Diedhou.

Mane and Mendy had won the best player and best keeper awards while Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar claimed the Golden Boot for the top scorer after netting eight goals in this campaign.

Best XI (4-3-3):

Edouard Mendy (Senegal) - Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Mohamed Abdel-Moneim (Egypt), Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso), Saliou Ciss (Senegal) - Mohamed Elneny (Egypt), Nampalys Mendy (Senegal), Ibrahima Toure (Burkina Faso) - Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon), Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Subs: Andre Onana (Cameroon), Collins Fai (Cameroon), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal), Mahmoud “El Wensh” Hamdi (Egypt), Ahmed Aboul-Fottouh (Egypt), Andre Anguissa (Cameroon), Youssouf M’Changama (Comoros), Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso), Sofiane Boufal (Morocco), Karl-Toko Ekambi (Cameroon), Famara Diedhiou.

2021 AFCON awards

Best player: Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Top scorer: Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon), 8 goals.
Best keeper: Edouard Mendy (Senegal)
Best young player: Issa Kabore (Burkina Faso)
Best coach: Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
Fair play: Senegal

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