Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has offered his thanks to the Egyptian national football team for their World Cup qualifying victory against Congo on Sunday night, lavishing particular praise on goal-scorer Mohamed Salah and the team's "great coach" Hector Cuper.
El-Sisi addressed the players and technical staff during the opening of the new International Convention Centre in New Cairo on Monday, timed to coincide with the 44th anniversary of October War victory.
During a seminar on the sidelines of the event, El-Sisi greeting the team members on stage, saying they made more than 100 million Egyptians happy and proud.
Speaking to Egypt's goal-scoring prodigy Salah, El-Sisi extended his special greetings saying, "Thank you Mohamed."
He also thanked the "great coach" Hector Cuper, who has steered the national side through the World Cup qualifying stage, securing a place in the World Cup finals in Russia next year.
El-Sisi wished the team a great performance during the tournament, which starts in June 2018.
Egypt qualified for the competition on Sunday night by beating Congo 2-1 in a gripping match at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium, putting them top of Group E with one game in hand.
The victory means Egypt go through to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990.
Egypt became the second African team to secure a place in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, the other being Nigeria, with three more African sides yet to qualify from the group stage.
Following the game, El-Sisi expressed "his happiness at the Egyptian national team's achievement, thanking the players and technical staff for their great efforts during the World Cup qualifiers," according to a statement from the president's office.
El-Sisi said the players and technical staff members set an example to follow with their determination, adding that he anticipates more success from the players in the future.
Prior to the event at the new International Convention Centre, El-Sisi held a reception for the team and technical staff at El- Ettihadeya Palace.
A number of Arab leaders sent messages of congratulations to the Egyptian president after Sunday's win.