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Cúper justifies inclusion of Ghaly, exclusions of Ashour, Sobhy

Photo: Egyptian Football Association website

Photo: Egyptian Football Association website

Egyptian national team boss defended recent roster changes ahead of 2018 World Cup qualifiers.  

Egypt manager justified the inclusion of Hossam Ghaly in the national team squad and asserted that there are players who are better than at midfield.

Cúper held a press conference on Wednesday, in which he talked about various issues, ahead of Egypt’s matches against Chad on November 14th and 17th for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The inclusion of Hossam Ghaly in the squad wasn’t based on the media pressure, Cúper said, adding that Ghaly was recently excluded from the squad before he received a call-up ahead of Chad match.

“Any manager faces pressure, but my personal vision is more important than any media pressure,” Cúper said. “I don’t accept any pressure, and including Ghaly was based on a personal decision.”

Egypt’s manager also justified not including Al Ahly midfielder Hossam Ashour in the squad list for the national team’s matches against Chad.

“Ashour is a good player, but I see that there are players who are better than him,” Cúper said. “I include the best players in the position, and from my point of view, Ashour isn’t one of them.”

On another Al Ahly exclusion, starlet Ramadan Sobhy, Cúper said: “I am against the player’s behaviour so I didn’t call him up.” The decision comes after the 18-year-old stood on the ball for the second time against Zamalek in the Egyptian Super Cup, which he later apologised for.

The national team will miss the services of several important players in the upcoming matches including Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Abdel-Shafy due to injury. Cúper, however, said that he is aiming to create a team like Barcelona with a lot of substitutes.

“Lionel Messi has no substitute in the world, and despite this, Barcelona have a perfect team,” Cúper said, adding that he would like to have options at each position. “I am trying to cultivate a team culture to be like Barcelona.”

Egypt dropped six places in the latest FIFA ranking released on Thursday to become the 57th-placed team worldwide. But Cúper said he doesn’t give much attention to FIFA rankings.

“The injury of Salah and Abdel-Shafy is more important to me than the FIFA ranking,” he said.

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