By Kareem Sheta
The 2018 World Cup in Russia is one of the most highly anticipated events this year for the majority of the Egyptian population. It all started back in October 2017 when Egypt became the second African nation after Nigeria to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup following a 2-1 win against Congo. The teams were tied 1-1 and fans all around the country had lost all hope of winning the game.
Then miraculously out of nowhere, Mohamed Salah or “The King of Egypt” scored a last minute goal in the 94th minute at a distance of 12 yards! The people rejoiced and the streets became a site of incredible festivities with air force helicopters dropping Egyptian flags over the crowds and throngs celebrating in Tahrir Square.
Currently, predictions are split on Egypt’s eligibility to win the World Cup. On the website sportevents365, the writers are rather pessimistic. They believe that the record of Argentinian coach, Hector Cuper, has not been entirely successful. Firstly, he took Spanish side Valencia to two consecutive Champions League finals and lost. Secondly, he took Mallorca to the final of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and lost. Thirdly, he was a game away from winning Inter’s first Scudetto in 13 years and lost.
However, we beleive that Egypt might actually perform really well in their group, Why? it’s because of their performance in all the friendly matches of the rival teams in the group compared to Egypt’s performance.
Well, we will leave up to you to decide!
Russia 0 v 3 Brazil
Saudi Arabia 1 V 1 Ukraine
Uruguay 2 v 0 Czech Republic
Portugal 2 v 1 Egypt
In contrast, Egyptian Football Federation member, Magdy Abdel Ghany, stated his extremely optimistic views about the upcoming game. Abdel Ghany scored Egypt’s only goal in the 1990 World Cup which ended in a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands. During a celebration to honor the Egypt national team, he said, “Our participation in the World Cup in Russia would be more than just an honorary participation.
In 1990, we didn’t have many International players; most of the players in the squad were playing in local competitions. On the contrary, this generation has many players playing abroad, like Mohamed Salah, Ramadan Sobhi, Mohamed El Neny and Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’.”
Finally, after 28 years, we have a shot to redeem ourselves after not passing the first stage at the 1934 and 1990 World Cups.