Former Egypt's player Ahmed Hossam Midio (Photo: Reuters)
Former Egypt striker Ahmed Hossam 'Mido' has expressed his hope that Egypt will be drawn against Nigeria in the play-off of the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The two African teams booked their qualifying tickets after topping their groups, along with eight other teams. Each pair will play two matches.
"I hope the draw gives us Nigeria. This will be very good for our national team because Nigeria has a good team and their players are very skilled. They keep improving since they won the last AFCON and it's better for us to play against them and get tested. They play real fast flowing football and that in the long run will only make Egypt better and will make our mission at the end easier," Mido was quoted as saying on Supersport Monday.
"I don’t want Ghana or Ivory Coast. They are not suitable for us this time, nor is Algeria because of all the tension and outside drama between the two north African teams in football," he added.
The 30-year-old forward, who is a former player at Zamalek, Ajax, Marseilles, Roma, Tottenham and other European teams, announced his retirement in June after leaving English Championship side Barnsley.
Mido failed to realise his potential at international level, missing Egypt's African Cup of Nations triumphs in 2008 and 2010.
He was part of their squad in 2006 but missed the final victory over Ivory Coast in Cairo following an infamous touchline altercation with then-coach Hassan Shehata.
Egypt's Wael Gomaa (Photo: Reuters)
Ahly's experienced defender Wael Gomaa also said the team were ready for any opponent.
"I don’t want easy teams because Egypt plays her best games against only the tough teams. All the players have the big dream to reach the World Cup, and we are ready to play any team - big or small," 38-year-old Gomaa said.
Under the leadership of American manager Bob Bradley, the Pharaohs are on top of Group G, securing their place in the final qualifying round of the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They are playing Guinea in the final round on Tuesday.
The holders of three successive African Cups of Nations in 2006, 2008, and 2010, Egypt are bidding for their first qualification ticket to the world's most prestigious tournament since 1990.
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