Egypt’s new coach Bob Bradley has called up veteran goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary for Monday’s high-profile friendly against five-time world champions Brazil in Qatari capital Doha.
There were doubts over whether El-Hadary would be included in Egypt’s squad after his Sudanese club, El-Merreikh, said they would not allow him to feature in the anticipated game for disciplinary reasons.
The 38-year-old, who played in Egypt’s 4-3 defeat by Brazil in a thrilling Confederations Cup game in 2009, is seeking to terminate his contract with El-Merreikh, who accused him of being a “troublemaker” after he abandoned the team’s training.
Despite his constant disciplinary problems, El-Hadary, widely considered as Egypt’s best goalie in history, remains as solid as ever.
“Bradley wants to keep a close eye on El-Hadary to decide whether to rely on him in the future or nor. He is not certain to start against Brazil,” Egypt’s goalkeeping coach Zaki Abdel-Fattah said in a phone interview with Modern Kora channel.
Zamalek’s Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed, who has been El-Hadary’s understudy for many years, was surprisingly left out despite pulling off a string of impressive saves in his side’s 2-1 Egyptian Premier League defeat by Ittihad El-Shorta on Tuesday.
Ismaily’s Mohamed Sobhy and Masry’s promising goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawy were included in Bradley’s 22-man roster.
Borussia Dortmund’s out-of-favor striker Mohamed Zidan was also named in the squad despite his lack of regular action with the German club.
New faces include Ismaily’s towering defender Ahmed Hegazy, who impressed in Egypt’s U-20 World Cup campaign earlier this year, and ENPPI left-back Mohamed Nassef.
Some of the old guard were omitted, including Ahly duo Mohamed Abou-Treika and Sayed Moawad.
Zamalek midfielder Ahmed Hassan will have a chance to equal the record of 178 international appearances held by former Saudi Arabia keeper Mohamed Al-Deayea after being included in the squad.
Egypt are scheduled to face Brazil again in February next year.
Goalkeepers: Essam El-Hadary (El-Merreikh, Sudan), Ahmed El-Shennawy (Masry), Mohamed Sobhy (Ismaily).
Defenders: Wael Gomaa, Ahmed Fathi (Ahly), Mahmoud Fathallah, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Zamalek), Ahmed Hegazy (Ismaily), Ahmed Ouka (Haras El-Hodoud), Ahmed Elmohamady (Sunderland, England), Mohamed Nassef (ENPPI).
Midfielders: Hosni Abd-Rabou (Ismaily), Hossam Ghaly, Walid Soliman, Abdallah El-Saied (Ahly), Ibrahim Salah, Ahmed Hassan, Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabala’ (Zamalek).
Forwards: Emad Meteb (Ahly), Mohamed Zidan (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Amr Zaki (Zamalek), Dodo El-Gabbas (Lierse, Belgium).