Mohamed Salah desperate to end Egypt’s 13-year AFCON title drought

* It’s something I cannot take for granted. I am just happy to be there, happy to play in the tournament

* However, coach Vitoria urges caution over the Pharaohs chances in their Group B of Ghana, Cape Verde and Mozambique

Maravi Express

Egypt superstar Mohamed Salah has outlined his burning desire to lead the Pharaohs to CAF Africa Cup of Nations glory after recent near misses of losing in two final matches.


“It’s a great feeling every time you step on the field with the national team jersey,” the Liverpool forward told CAFonline. “It’s something I cannot take for granted. I am just happy to be there, happy to play in the tournament.” 

Egypt have not won the competition since Salah was a teenager back in 2010, falling short in the 2017 and 2021 finals but the Pharaohs have lifted the trophy 7 times — 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010.

They were runners-up three (1962, 2017, 2021) and also three-time bronze medalists (1963, 1970, 1974) with being on 4th place twice (1980, 1984).

They reached the quarterfinals four times (1994, 1996, 2000, 2002); Round of 16 in 2019; bowed out in group stages four times (1988, 1990, 1992, 2004 and failed to qualified four tines (1972, 2012, 2013 and 2015.


Egypt also hold the record for hosting the tournament more times than any other country, having staged the event five times, with the latest being in 2019. 

The 31-year-old Mo Salah is eager to avoid more disappointment, declaring: “I want to win this competition. I would love to win it.”

The Pharaohs were beaten by Cameroon in 2017 with Salah in it and went on to lose the 2021 edition when Salah agonisingly missed the decisive penalty in shootout loss to Senegal.

The prolific forward offers an obvious threat to any defence in Africa and after recent near misses, the determined Salah is ready to write his name into Egyptian folklore by ending their 13-year drought.

Now the talismanic Liverpool attacker is on a personal mission to exorcise Egypt’s ghosts and lead them to a record-extending 8th AFCON title as they open their campaign January 14 against Mozambique before meeting Ghana on January 18 and Cape Verde on January 22.

However, Egypt coach Rui Vitoria has preached caution over the Pharaohs’ hopes of ending their drought, despite naming a star-studded squad.


The Portuguese manager stressed Egypt must take it “game by game” and to “treat each game as a final” after he was asked if they enter as favourites this time around.

Vitoria will hope Salah can inspire Egypt to another continental crown but the coach is taking nothing for granted, knowing the Pharaohs must hit the ground running against their tricky group opponents.

The Portuguese is clearly cautious over talking up Egypt’s chances despite their glittering history and talent-packed squad — that comprises:

Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shenawy, Mohamed Sobhi, Mohamed Abou Gabal ‘Gabaski’, Ahmed El-Shenawy;

Defenders: Mohamed Hany, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelmonem, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Fotouh, Osama Galal, Mohamed Hamdy, Omar Kamal, Ahmed Samy

Midfielders: Marwan Attia, Emam Ashour, Mahmoud Hamada, Ahmed Sayed ‘Zizo’, Hamdi Fathi, Mohamed Elneny, Ahmed Nabil Koka

Forwards: Mostafa Mohamed, Ahmed Hassan, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Omar Marmoush, Mahmoud Kahraba, Mostafa Fathi, Mohamed Salah.—Info from CAFonline