The Egyptian national team is preparing to kick off their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign with a seemingly easy test against Djibouti at Cairo Stadium on Thursday, followed by an away match against Sierra Leone on Sunday.
Egypt has been drawn in Group A alongside Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
"As an experienced coach, I have witnessed many instances where favorites have lost against smaller teams," Rui Vitoria told the pre-match news conference on Wednesday.
"I am well aware that Egypt has failed to reach the World Cup in the past due to losses against teams like Sudan and Zambia. Our goal is to collect as many points as possible to top the group and secure a spot in the World Cup."
The Portuguese manager attributed the challenging schedule of his team, who will face Sierra Leone just 72 hours after the Djibouti clash.
He also emphasized the importance of fan support in the stadium, urging Egyptians to come and support their national team.
"We fulfil our duty and play with enthusiasm to win games, and I hope our fans come out to support us," he added.
"Egypt is a great nation, and it saddens me to see teams without the same star power as Egypt receive more support from their fans than the Pharaohs.
It is time for Egyptians to come and support their national team."
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