Legendary Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary revealed that he was indeed injured during Egypt’s 1-0 loss to Uganda in Kampala.
The 44-year-old shot-stopper was hurt in the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier, and was even a doubt to partake in the Pharaohs’ rematch with the Cranes in Alexandria, which finished 1-0 to the hosts.
“It is true that I got hurt in the [Kampala] match, but it happens and its natural for me to continue anyway,” he said in a TV interview when asked specifically if he should have left the match.
“Love for my country, love for my teammates, the confidence that bonds me with the technical staff; all of that helps me withstand anything.”
“You see the amazing camaraderie we have. We all want to work hard,” he added.
El-Hadary also came to the defense of manager Héctor Cúper, who despite the win was subject to criticism over his defense approach at home.
“The most important thing to us is the most important thing to him.
“He may be from Argentina, but the only thing on his mind is Egypt.
“He is just thinking about how to reach the World Cup,.
“I just want to tell people please, we are trying to reach the World Cup. Forget about your personal opinions and let’s please only focus on what’s best for Egypt right now,” El-Hadary added.
Egypt is vying for its first World Cup finals appearance since 1990.
The Pharaohs currently sit top of Group E on nine points, two ahead of Uganda and four ahead of Ghana with just two matchdays remaining.
Egypt takes on Congo Oct. 8 and a win could send the Pharaohs to next years finals if Uganda fails to beat Ghana the day before.