'African football is no longer as straightforward as it used to be': Egypt coach Hassan

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 May 2024

Egypt National Team Coach, Hossam Hassan, highlighted the changing landscape of African football in an interview with FIFA ahead of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Egypt s Coach, Hossam Hassan. (Photo: FIFA)


The 57-year-old, who assumed the role of coach for the Pharaohs in February, acknowledged the intense rivalry within the continent and expressed his determination to secure a spot in the 2026 World Cup finals.

"Football in Africa is no longer as straightforward as it used to be. All CAF teams are continuously developing and improving both technically and physically. However, we are prepared for any challenges that come our way," stated Hossam Hassan.

Confident in his coaching staff and the high caliber of players at his disposal, Hassan emphasized their understanding of the immense responsibility they bear.

He expressed optimism about working together with unity and dedication to bring joy to Egyptians.

"The current generation boasts some great players, led by Salah and Trezeguet, and I hope they will bring home trophies with the national team and secure a spot in the World Cup," Hassan said.

He also addressed the absence of key players during previous training camps and how it affected his approach. "Every coach has their own style, but when the team comes together, we face unique circumstances," he explained.

"For instance, during the March games, we were without Mohamed Salah, one of the most crucial players in the national team. His presence, along with Ahmed "Zizo" El Sayed, Ramadan Sobhi, Mohamed El-Shenawy, and others, would have provided a significant boost to the squad," added the Egyptian icon.

The upcoming fixtures for the Pharaohs include a match against Burkina Faso in Cairo on 6 June, followed by an away game against Guinea-Bissau on 11 June to secure Egypt's qualification to the 2026 World Cup.

Egypt currently leads Group A with six points, having triumphed in their first two games.

They secured a resounding 6-0 victory over Djibouti in the opening round and a 2-0 win against Sierra Leone in the second round held in November 2023.

"We anticipate two challenging matches against them. African teams have made significant progress, as evident in the 2023 AFCON. Nevertheless, we are a formidable team capable of reclaiming our rightful place among the top sides. Achieving this requires hard work and solidarity from everyone," affirmed the Pharaohs iconic striker.

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