National team coach Vitoria suggests four avenues for improving Egyptian football

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 21 Dec 2022

Egypt’s Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria has suggested four basic points for improving Egyptian football in the near future, while hailing the recent appearance of both the Saudi and Moroccan national teams at the World Cup.

National team coach Vitoria


“Egyptian football needs work on four basic points to develop: preparing coaches well, providing perfect conditions for competition including good pitches and a suitable financial situation, holding an organised league, and finally allowing young players to play,” Vitoria said in an interview with Egyptian TV channel OnTime Sports early on Wednesday.

“According to the statistics, young players face difficulty appearing in the Egyptian League. Unlike other strong opponents from African teams, we don’t have young players, whether in the domestic league or among the foreign-based ones.

“I suggested a solution for the football association to have a B team for every club, or to organise a new league for young players, but this league should be very organised.

“Senegal have 20 players under 26 years old playing in Europe, and Morocco have 13 players abroad, meanwhile we have just two players, Mostafa Mohamed and Omar Marmoush, playing abroad at the same age. We should do something for the young players,” the 52-year-old coach added.

Vitoria was appointed as Egypt coach last July, succeeding fired coach Ehab Galal with a contract that runs until 2026.

Under the helm of the new coach, Egypt met for their first training camp in September before they defeated both Liberia and Niger 3-0 in two friendly games.

He also guided the Pharaohs to defeating Belgium 2-1 in a friendly on 18 November.

Vitoria stressed that preparing good coaches and setting successful development plans would play an important role in changing Egyptian football in the future.

“Preparing coaches is so important. I know that there weren’t preparations for coaches in Egypt in the last six years, unlike European countries. In Portugal, there are weekly lectures to prepare coaches,” the coach explained.

“There are no good players with no good coaches. We must talk with the football association and the clubs.

“I visited many clubs in Egypt and I found some of them have good plans for the future and others didn’t. We should depend on modern science to develop coaches or even call on experts for this mission,” the former Benfica coach added.

No comparison with Saudi Arabia and Morocco

Saudi Arabia and Morocco delivered outstanding performances in the recent World Cup, with the former defeating heavyweights Argentina in the opener before being eliminated from the group stage, and the latter ending the prestigious competition in fourth place.

Vitoria believes that successful plans by both countries, especially regarding young players, were a key reason behind this success.

“We have 13 local-based players in Egypt’s current squad and this means having a totally different level. The number of foreign-based players in the Egypt squad does not exceed 23 percent, and so the comparison with teams that reached World Cup round of 16 is difficult,” the Egypt coach said.

“Despite having many foreign players in their squads (eight players allowed for every team), Saudi Arabia managed to develop their local players through the competitive spirit in a country that adores football.

“In Morocco, the situation is different as the 26-man squad have 20 players who play abroad and 14 players who were born outside the country. The team includes a variety of players who play for big clubs like Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich. They gave an unexpected performance after perfect plans and hard work for many years,” he concluded.

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