Portuguese coach Vitoria expresses gratitude to Egypt for an ‘unforgettable journey’

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 17 Feb 2024

Former Egypt national team coach Rui Vitoria, a Portuguese tactician, conveyed his appreciation to the country after his 19-month tenure leading the Pharaohs in various competitions, including the recent 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Rui Vitoria
File Photo: Egypt s Portuguese headcoach Rui Vitoria looks on during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group B football match between Egypt and Mozambique at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan. AFP

 

"On the decision of the EFA, my cycle as the national team coach of Egypt has come to an end," Vitoria wrote on his Instagram account on Saturday.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) officially parted ways with Vitoria earlier this month following the team's disappointing performance in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The seven-time African champions were eliminated from the tournament in the round of 16 after a dramatic 8-7 loss to DR Congo in a penalty shootout.

"Now that a few days have passed since the official announcement, and after a period of reflection, I can say that I leave after 19 months, 18 games, with only one loss, and with a nomination for the best national team coach in the world," added the Portuguese coach.

"These numbers signify our dedication to building a strong foundation for the present and future of Egyptian football, facing numerous challenges with determination and an unwavering focus on excellence," he said.

At the age of 53, Vitoria assumed the helm of the Egyptian national team in July 2022, signing a contract that was intended to keep him with the Pharaohs until the summer of 2026.

"The four-year contract I signed was aimed, as publicly known, at laying the groundwork for preparing and revitalizing the team for the 2026 World Cup. We are currently in the early stages of 2024," Vitoria explained.

"I arrived at a challenging time, with the goal of changing the national team's situation, as they had missed the previous World Cup and were at the bottom of the CAN qualification standings," he added.

"Our qualification and subsequent results are a testament to our ability to overcome challenges and the quality of the work we have done. While we were naturally disappointed with the elimination through penalties in the last CAN, we are aware of the adversities we faced, which I may address later."

"This experience has enriched me both professionally and personally, and it leaves me convinced, as I have always stated, that the future of Egyptian football can be promising if everyone desires it,"

“Thank you, Egypt, for this memorable journey,” the former Egypt national team coach concluded.

Vitoria's position as the national team's head coach was assumed by veteran Hossam Hassan on February 6, as announced by the EFA.

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