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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 13:23 GMT
Pharaohs aim to rule again
Nickname: The Pharaohs
Coach: Mohsen Saleh
Captain: Hady Khashba
Cup record: Winners 1957, 1959, 1986 & 1998; Qualified 19 times

By qualifying for Tunisia 2004, Egypt extended their record for the most number of appearances at the African Cup of Nations finals to an astonishing 19.

Yet considerable doubts remain about their chances of winning a record fifth title.

But anyone who underestimates the Pharaohs is likely to get a very rude awakening since they will be playing in conditions similar to their own at home.

As habitual qualifiers, they know how to get the right result at the right time, and a well-organised Egyptian team is always difficult to break down.

Did you know? Mahmoud El-Gohary is the only person to have won the Nations Cup both as a player (1959) and as a coach (1998).


Mohsen Saleh is in his second spell in charge.

He took over the coaching reins again 18 months ago, following the departure of another local man, Mahmoud El-Gohary.

Mohsen Saleh is under a lot of pressure
Formerly a midfielder with the Cairo club Al Ahly, Saleh has had coaching stints in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman.

He worked as an assistant coach for the Pharoahs in 1994, and later took over in 1995 for what turned out to be one largely unsuccessful year.

His second period as coach has also endured mixed fortunes - a request to resign after a 5-0 defeat by France was turned down in May 2003.

Key players

Ahmed Hassan is appearing in his third African Cup of Nations tournament after playing in the 1996 finals in South Africa and Burkina Faso '98.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder scored in the 2-0 win over Bafana Bafana in the 1998 decider. He has played for four clubs in Turkey and is currently in his first season with Besiktas.

Ahmed Mido Hossam has a notoriously short fuse
Ahmed Mido Hossam has a notoriously short fuse
Perhaps no member of the Egyptian squad has more to prove than Ahmed 'Mido' Hossam, the striker around whom Saleh bases his attacking options.

The temperamental frontman is widely seen as a potential player of the tournament.

Hazem Emam is a midfielder who comes from a football family.

His father is the vice-president of the Egyptian FA and his grandfather played in goal for the Pharaohs in the 1950s.

Emam was one of the stars of the 1996 finals, a fact recognised by Caf when named in its team of the tournament.

After spending four seasons with Italian Serie A side Udinese and a year in Holland, he returned to Cairo two years ago to join Zamalek.


The Egyptians, who will play without the injured skipper Hany Ramzy, are in a group that is less straightforward than first impressions suggest.

Nevertheless, progress to the quarter-finals is seen as the absolute minimum target for a nation that has won the Cup four times.

Anything less would undoubtedly leave Saleh seeking alternative employment.

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