AFCON: Egypt recall Ahmed Ali after eight years of absence

SINAN RAJUB SENOGA 

The hosts Egypt have named a preliminary 25-man squad ahead of the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

The squad that is dominated by local based players consists of only eight players from overseas.

The eight are headlined by the reigning African player of the year Mohamed Salah and Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny.

The squad summoned by Mexican coach Javier Aguirre includes veteran striker Ahmed Ali who makes a return to the national team after eight years of absence.

Ali Ahmed who is also celebrating his 33rd birthday today, currently tops the scorers' chats in the Egyptian League with 18 goals with Arab Contractors.

His recent engagement with the Pharoahs dates back in June 2011 against South Africa.

Al Ahly's 34 year old playmaker Walid Soliman is another surprise inclusion having retired from international football in November last year with his last appearance coming in August 2016.

Ex-Stoke City and Huddersfield Town silky winger Ramadan Sobhi is the biggest exclusion In Aguirre's selection.

The team will later be reduced 23 before the tournament starts.

Egypt will play against Tanzania and Guinea in warm up games before opening up the tournament against Zimbabwe.

The Pharoahs will thereafter face Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda in the subsequent Group A games.

Egypt, also tagged as the pre-tournament favourites, are the record holders of the AFCON having won the tournament on seven occasions.

Egypt Full Squad
Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Shenawi (Pyramids FC), Mohamed El-Shenawy (Ahly), Mahmoud Genish (Zamalek), Mohamed Abou-Gabal (Smouha)

Defenders: Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Omar Gaber (Pyramids FC), Ali Ghazal (Feirense), Ayman Ahsraf (Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Baher Elmohamady (Ismaily), Ahmed Ayman Mansour (Pyramids FC), Mahmoud Alaa (Zamalek), Ahmed Aboul Fotouh (Smouha)

Abdallah Said scored the lone goal as Egypt edged Uganda in Gabon (Photo Courtesy) 

Midfielders: Walid Soliman (Ahly), Abdallah El-Said (Pyramids FC), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud "Trezeguet" Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos), Nabil Emad (Pyramids FC)

Forwards: Ahmed Aly (Arab Contractors), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Marwan Mohsen (Ahly), Ahmed "Kouka" Hassan (Olympiacos)