Egypt's World Cup player profiles: Ahmed Fathi, The Joker

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Jun 2018,
Ahmed Fathi

A reliable right-back, who could also play as a defensive midfielder and center-back, Ahmed Fathi is an indispensable member of Egypt’s squad.

The 33-year-old, nicknamed The Joker because of the different roles that he can play, is renowned for his physicality and ability to produce timely tackles near the touchline, as well as being able to tuck inside to protect the center-backs.

With Liverpool star Mohamed Salah often showing reluctance to drop deep in front of Fathi on the right, the Ahly defender's defensive capabilities are now needed more than ever.

Fathi has often been criticized for his inability to whip in accurate crosses, but that particular aspect will not be concerning manager Hector Cuper much.

With Cuper restricting his full-backs' movements upfield, Fathi's crossing is not likely to be relied upon, with the Argentinean coach preferring instead to bank on Egypt’s counter-attacking abilities.

Fathi seems to be not facing much competition in his right-back position, with the attack-minded Ahmed Elmohamady playing second fiddle to the veteran defender.

Such is the importance of Fathi to Egypt that he has been occasionally deployed on the left to make up for the absence of regular full-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi whenever the latter was injured.

Fathi is therefore a mainstay of Egypt’s squad, thanks to his undoubted defensive qualities.



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