Hector Cuper - Egypt Today
VOLGOGRAD - 25 June 2018: Egypt's coach Hector Cuper expressed on Sunday his satisfaction with how the African giants have performed so far in the FIFA World Cup in Russia, according to the Goal website.
The Pharaohs have endured a disappointing group stage campaign - losing to Uruguay (1-0) and tournament hosts Russia (3-1).
On Monday, Egypt will face three-time Asian champions Saudi Arabia in their final Group A match at the Volgograd Arena.
“I’m not sad, I don’t share the opinion the team didn’t perform well,” Cuper told the media.
“We came to the World Cup saying we needed to focus on what we’re doing well. Because I can only repeat, I’m really satisfied with what we’ve done," he continued.
The Pharaohs defense which has been marshaled by England-based defender Ahmed Hegazy, has been criticized for giving away goals cheaply.
"I wouldn’t say happy - that’s too far - but I’m satisfied. We committed minor errors in matches and what we want to do is then bow out in style in the next match," Cuper added.
“For us, this is an important match, particularly because we want to end this participation in the World Cup on a high note, with a good result," he explained.
"And once again we’re playing for all people in Egypt; we want to give them joy," Cuper said.
"We want to end this World Cup with a triumph, even though this might be only a footnote in the future," he added.
The Pharaohs are hoping to secure their maiden World Cup win having failed to qualify for the last six tournaments.
"But for Egypt to win a first World Cup match would be something very important," the Argentine tactician concluded.
Meanwhile, Cuper was asked about the controversy surrounding Egypt's choice of Grozny as their base, and Salah’s perceived “exploitation” by Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechnya head of state.
“Fifa offered us a couple of choices when it came to setting up the base camp and we chose Grozny from that list,” Cuper said. “And that’s all really. And the other topic talking about Salah, I don’t know exactly how he was used in any populist way. I don’t really understand that. This image of Mohamed, the entire team went to Grozny.
“Once again, I can only repeat, Fifa offered us a choice of seven or eight different places, we had a look at them and Grozny seemed to be the best choice. And everybody agreed with that, this wasn’t only my opinion.”