Ahmed Fathi: I do not like playing at left-back
National team and Al Ahly full-back Ahmed Fathi spoke about the different positions he played in with Egypt in the 2017 African Cup of Nations, Hector Cuper’s style of play and tactics, and his talk with Salah in the final match.
Fathi has played a variety of roles in the midfield in addition to playing as a right-back and a left-back with the national team during the championship.
“We’re not a random team like what people say,” he said to CBC TV channel. “We now have a shape and form with Hector Cuper because of the way of play he applies.”
Egypt coach Hector Cuper was criticised for insisting on defensive tactics and a formation that does not help the attacking line.
The player assured that the team went to Gabon thinking about the podium and not just to pass the group stage. Fathi proved his words by assuring that this was the reason Egypt managed to reach the final.
“In 2008 against Cameroon in the final match, we were strongly pressured but successfully defended our goal, managed to score a goal and eventually won the title,” he added.
Regarding different roles Fathi took with the team, the 32-year-old told CBC that he was surprised to know that he will be playing as a left-back since Mohamed Abdel-Shafy’s injury stopped him from playing the match. “I don’t prefer playing as a left-back, however, I have no problem playing in any position on the pitch,” Fathi confirmed.
“I was surprised in the pre-match session against Ghana when Hector Cuper told me that I will play in this position,” The three-time AFCON winner explained. “In the first half, I wasn’t comfortable with the position and didn’t play well. But as the second half began, I started to get used to it.”
The Pharaohs failed to win their eighth title after losing 2-1 to Cameroon in the final match.
“I told Salah that this generation will win a championship after two years. I played four AFCONs and won three, I know that feeling” he spoke about his conversation with AS Rome winger. “During the final match break, I told Salah that we have to score a second goal as I feared an equaliser from Cameroon. Sometimes, in finals, there is this some sort of unjustified laziness.”
He also mentioned that the final against Cameroon was the hardest he played because of the bad conditions the team was forced with which included a number of injuries and the absence of Kahraba.
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