New coach Aguirre says managing Egypt an ‘important step in career’

Egypt’s newly-appointed coach Javier Aguirre said he was excited to start a new adventure in his coaching career, having been tasked with giving a demoralised side an injection of morale and turning around their fortunes after a nightmarish World Cup campaign.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Wednesday that Aguirre would take over the Pharaohs on a four-year contract that will last until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Mexican’s contract will be automatically terminated should he fail to lead Egypt to a place at the 2019 or 2021 African Cup of Nations.

Aguirre succeeds Argentinean coach Hector Cuper, who departed in late June after Egypt failed to bag a single point following three World Cup defeats by Uruguay, hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia in Group A.

“I’m happy to sign a new contract with the Egyptian national team. I know Egypt’s team well and I know (Liverpool forward) Mohamed Salah and (Arsenal midfielder) Mohamed Elneny,” Aguirre was quoted by local media as telling reporters.

“I followed Egypt’s World Cup games and I instantly accepted their offer. It’s an important step in my career.”

The 59-year-old led Mexico to the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2009 and steered them to a place in the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup.

He was in charge of several Spanish clubs, including Atletico Madrid, Espanyol and Osasuna  and won domestic titles with Mexico’s Pachuca and United Arab Emirates club Al-Wahda.

Aguirre’s first competitive match in charge of Egypt will be against Niger next month in the 2019 Nations Cup qualifiers. The seven-time African champions won the last of their record eight continental titles in 2010

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