Egypt s forward Mohamed Salah runs with the ball during the Group D Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Guinea-Bissau and Egypt at Stade Roumde Adjia in Garoua on January 15, 2022 (AFP)
“I want to count on Salah. It is a conversation we have already started, but it depends on several factors, such as Liverpool's release. If everything goes well, I want to be able to count on him,” Micale was quoted as saying on the Brazilian radio station Jovem Pan.
“It is a strong reinforcement and that can give us more hope to win a medal,” the Brazilian coach declared.
According to Olympic rules, each squad can include a maximum of three players over the age of 23.
While there is still one year to assess the situation and make decisions, Micale confirmed that he is hoping the 31-year-old Salah will be one of the three, acknowledging his stature as a prominent player.
The 54-year-old tactician led Egypt to secure a place in the 2024 Paris Olympics and reach the final game of the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, where they narrowly lost 2-1 to hosts Morocco earlier this month.
“We lost the final in detail, but we left satisfied because the objective was to go to Paris. We believe that a year's work is being well done,” Micale said.
“Egypt is satisfied, there is euphoria in the country… We show great potential. Until the final, we had not conceded a goal. It is a cause for joy. We have everything to make a great Olympics,” he said.
Despite their loss to Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations final, Micale assured fans that the team would strive to achieve a medal in the Olympic Games.
“My main objective and that of Egypt is to win a medal. So far, the country does not have a podium, has not reached a semifinal. For that, we have to count on the good athletes that come from the professionals,” the Brazilian coach said.
Team captain Ibrahim Adel and goalkeeper Hamza Alaa claimed top individual awards at the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations.
“With regard to new talents, we are seeing the emergence of Ibrahim Adel, elected the best player of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations,” Micale said.
“I cannot compare him with Salah, who has reached a very high level, but he has the same characteristics. He has good speed, skill and very strong 1-on-1. He really drags the markings; he even has Brazilian characteristics. It has very strong potential to resonate internationally,” the Brazilian coach said.
“I also believe a lot in Ahmed Koka, who has a lot of potential. Defensively, we also have Hossam Abdelmaguid,” he added.
Egypt, Morocco, and Mali will represent Africa as the top three teams from the Africa Cup of Nations in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
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