The Egyptian National Soccer team is qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1990. As a matter of fact, it’s only the third time Egypt has qualified for a World Cup. Egypt officially punched their ticket to Russia with a last-second 2-1 victory against Congo on October 8th.
According to CNN’s Henry Young, Egyptian announcer Inas Mazhar said in an interview with CNN that Egypt’s qualification to the 2018 World Cup means a lot to the citizens of the nation. Mazhar further stated the citizens were overcome with emotion. Egypt came close to qualifying for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups only to come up short in the final stages of qualifying. If Egypt had lost to Congo, their journey to Russia would have ended.
In the last 27 years, Egypt has had some decent success winning four African Cup of Nations titles, as well as winning one Arab Cup of Nations, and making two appearances in a FIFA Confederations tournament in 1999 and 2009. Earlier this year, Egypt were runners-up in the African Cup of Nations tournament.
However, Egypt’s accomplishments between 1990 and 2017 pale in comparison to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Egyptian captain Essam El-Hadary, who’s been playing for the national team since 1996 says this achievement is a big addition to his list of accomplishments. “I did almost everything in my footballing career,” he told FIFA.com. “The only thing that is missing for me is a World Cup appearance.”
The 44-year-old captain has over 150 appearances for the national team and he’s set to become the oldest player to play in a World Cup tournament, provided he’s selected to the Egyptian squad who will travel to Russia. There’s no doubt, his name will be on the roster as Egypt won’t pass up an opportunity to make history. Furthermore, his veteran expertise would be much needed.
Egypt is looking to perform better than their previous run in 1990 where they failed to make it past the Group Stage. Egypt will look to find a way to advance to the knockout stage. Their goal is to make the most of their hard-earned opportunity.