The coach of the 2012 African Cup of Nations' winning team, Herve Renard, said Monday that he had drawn lessons from Egypt's national team when assembling his own winning squad.
The Frenchman pointed out that Egypt’s domestic players had allowed the Pharaohs to clinch the African title seven times, prompting him to stock his Zambian team mainly with African players, with Congolese club TP Mazembe contributing seven. Only three players in his squad play outside Africa.
“Egypt are the best team in Africa, and we had to learn from the best because they won so many times with players from their country,” Renard was quoted as saying by Kickoff.com.
“But the Zambian league is not on the same level with Egypt, so we had to take players from South Africa and Congo,” he said.
“TP Mazembe has seven players from Zambia, so it's easy because they understand one another.
“It was easy for us because we started our preparations early, which would have been difficult with players from Europe.”
Renard went on to urge his players to take the opportunity to play for European sides, expressing hope that their recent tournament performances would encourage them to do so.
“They have the talent and they can do well, but they have to plan their careers," he added, "because it's not easy for Zambian players when they're alone.”
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