Cúper speaks about Abdallah El-Said crisis ahead of Portugal friendly
During the past couple of weeks El-Said, who was arguably Al Ahly’s best player during the last two seasons, has been involved in a huge Egyptian footballing controversy after signing for arch-rivals Zamalek just a couple of weeks before renewing his contract with the Red Castle.
This saw the Al Ahly board as well as the coaching staff decide to transfer list the 32-year-old player just one day after renewing his contract with the club.
However, Egypt national team coach Héctor Cúper doesn’t seem to think that this crisis affected the player mentally nor technically.
“Abdallah El-Said is feeling great. I usually watch all the players in the camps and if I find one not being himself I talk to him, but I can confirm that Abdallah is in excellent form and was not affected by his crisis with Al Ahly,” Cuper told OnSports satellite channel.
“We have hope and humility before this game. I hope this will be a successful experience. It’s a very strong game against a strong opponent, the result does not concern us very much but I hope it will be in our favour,” he added.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of benefits from this game, either by discovering a new player or working a certain tactic.
“We could have chosen an easy competitor, but we would’ve just fooled ourselves. I chose Portugal because they are a strong opponent and a great opportunity to test the Egyptian team’s abilities against big teams.”
The Argentinian has been highly criticised for his defensive playing style but he believes that his tactics led Egypt to success.
“In football, you can change the way you play, but a big part of what we achieved comes from the way we played,” he concluded.
The Pharaohs, who reached the World Cup for the first time in 28 years, were drawn in Group A alongside hosts Russia, Uruguay, and Saudi Arabia, with their opening game being against Uruguay on June 15, before facing Russia on June 19 and Saudi Arabia on June 25.
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