Egypt announce final 23-man squad for 2018 World Cup
Cuper had initially named a 29-man preliminary squad, meaning he had to snub a goalkeeper and five other players ahead of the World Cup.
The Argentinian manager decided to drop Ismaily keeper Mohamed Awaad from the squad in favour of Al Ahly duo Sherif Ekramy and Mohamed El-Shennawy, and veteran Essam El-Hadary.
The squad witnessed one major surprise exclusion as SC Braga forward Ahmed Hassan Kouka was left out of the 23-man squad. Orlando City’s Amro Tarek, Zamalek’s Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz, Al Masry forward Ahmed Gomaa, and Karim Hafez of RC Lens also didn’t make the cut.
Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Elneny will lead the squad that will head to Russia, after being declared fit for the tournament, despite not featuring in any pre-World Cup friendly until now.
The squad also included another 12 foreign-based players, most notably Mahmoud Trezeguet, Ramadan Sobhi, Ahmed Hegazi, and Abdallah El-Said.
The Egypt-based players are Al Ahly’s Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed El-Shennawy, Ayman Ashraf, Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Marwan Mohsen, and Zamalek’s Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh and Tarek Hamed. The squad also witnessed the inclusion of Zamalek’s Ali Gabr, Mahmoud Abdel-Razik Shikabala and Mahmoud Kahraba, who just ended their loan spells at West Brom, Al-Raed, and Ittihad, respectively.
Egypt were drawn in group A alongside hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay. They will kick off their group stage games on June 15, before facing Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 19 and June 25.
The final 23-man squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Essam El-Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly).
Defenders: Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Saad Samir (Al Ahly), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Mohamed AbdelShafy (Al Ahli), Ahmed Hegazi (West Brom), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Omar Gaber (LAFC), Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh (Zamalek).
Midfielders: Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Abdel-Razik Shikabala (Zamalek), Abdallah El-Said (Al Ahli), Sam Morsy (Wigan), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Trezeguet (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (PAOK), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).
Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Kahraba (Zamalek).
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