Nagi is the best coach in Africa, says Egypt goalkeeper El-Hadary

Egypt's only fit keeper in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, Essam El-Hadary lauded the goalkeeper coach after the Pharaohs' quarterfinal qualifying win over Ghana Wednesday

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Jan 2017,
Essam El Hadrey
Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary celebrates at the end of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Egypt and Ghana in Port-Gentil on January 25, 2017. (AFP)

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who broke the record last week as the oldest player ever to compete at the Africa Cup of Nations at age 44, has named goalkeeper coach Ahmed Nagi "the best coach in Egypt and Africa."

El-Hadary boisterously interrupted a TV interview with the coach to deliver his praise after Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Ghana, which gave Egypt the lead in Group D and allowed them to advance to the quarterfinals.

"I congratulate all Egypt and coach Nagi for the win. This man works very hard and puts in a great effort with me, Ahmed El-Shennawi and Sherif Ekramy," said the Wadi Degla keeper.

Essam El Hadrey
Essam El-Hadary (AFP)

El-Hadary found himself guarding his favorite net alone after first-choice El-Shennawi of Zamalek sustained a hamstring injury during Egypt's first tournament game — a goalless draw with Mali. Shennawi's misfortune came just days after Ekramy picked up the same injury during trainings.

While El-Shennawi is confirmed to be out of the tournament, Ekramy is currently under pressured rehabilitation and being prepared by Nagi. The keeper indirectly criticised his coach this week in a misunderstanding that was quickly resolved by Argentinean manager Hector Cuper.

"I feel reassured being backed by very experienced goalkeepers like them and my best performance is also delivered by them when they are in-form," El-Hadary, who kept his net clean, added.

Nagi also praised El-Hadary saying "I worked with El-Hadary for more than 13 years; we communicate in a harmonized way and I trust his abilities."

Egypt will play Morocco in the quarterfinals Sunday, with two wins over Ghana and Uganda, and a draw against Mali. 

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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