Newly-appointed Egypt coach, Carlos Queiroz, has talked about the importance of the upcoming back-to-back 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifiers against Libya as well the national team captaincy situation.
Queiroz recently took over as national coach following the dismissal of Hossam El-Badry.
Ahead of those all-important matches, Queiroz has arranged a friendly against Liberia which will be held on 30 September.
“This is the time for action, not talk. We started a big race and we must win it and get the six points against Libya. We must start working, and climb to the top of the mountain,” Carlos Queiroz said in the press conference leading to their training camp.
“A coach always needs time, and FIFA rules prohibit us from calling up the foreign-based players before the international break. I thank the coaches in Egypt for cooperating and allowing players to join in the current small camp.
“I studied all the players who were selected for the national team well, and watched their videos. I’m very confident in my choices.
“Egypt has a great history, but history alone doesn’t win. It’s necessary to build a team and create a strong group.
“The Libyan team is following us closely, and I will keep the gameplay confidential. I will announce the names of the players selected to face Libya at the end of the Liberia match training camp,” he added.
The 68-year-old, who previously coached Bafana Bafana, also confirmed that Mohamed Salah will remain as Egypt national team captain after the Liverpool legend was first given the armband under Hossam El-Badry.
“Every coach has a way to determine the captain of the team, and I see that Mohamed Salah is the captain. This is my decision because he’s the best choice,” he explained.
“I know Egyptian national team players well, and I worked with great teams in the World Cup qualifiers, and every player in those competitions wants to prove that he’s the best. I want the players to know that they represent the entire Egyptian population when they wear the jersey,” Queiroz concluded.
The back-to-back clashes between Libya and Egypt could prove to be crucial in determining who progresses to the next phase from Group F.
Only the 10 group winners will move on to ultimately decide who Africa’s five representatives at the 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar will be.
Currently Libya top the group after two matches having beaten both third-placed Gabon and bottom side Angola, while Egypt drew with Gabon and beat Angola.
The first match will take place in Egypt on Friday, 8 October at 21:00 SA time with the second clash set for Monday, 11 October also at 21:00 SA time, in Libya.
That second match will be refereed by South Africa’s Victor Gomes.