To reach the semi-finals of the men’s soccer tournament at the Olympics for the fourth time in a row, the team will have to beat the Africa-champion goalkeeper who has already intimidated Brazilian fans this year.
32-year-old Mohamed El-Shennawy is the first member of the Egyptian squad and is one of three veteran positions in the squad that will face Andre Jardine’s men starting at 5:00 a.m. (GMT) tomorrow, in the quarter-finals in Tokyo. 2020.
The veteran defends Al-Ahly, the biggest winner in the history of African football, with no less than ten continental titles in the past forty years, and has fond memories of the last time he faced the Brazilian attackers.
Five months ago, the Egyptian idol was crucial to his club in beating Palmeiras and finishing the FIFA Club World Cup in third place. In the dispute for a place on the podium, the goalkeeper tied 0-0 in regular and overtime. In addition, he defended the charges of Rooney and Felipe Melo in the penalty shootout.
The tournament was the second world championship for El Shennawy. In 2018, he defended the Egyptian goal in the World Cup in Russia and was distinguished for the miracles he performed on the field and for the personality that he showed.
The goalkeeper was chosen as the best player in the match that the African team lost 1-0 to Uruguay, and is still in the group stage. However, he refused to accept the award offered by the Budweiser brewery.
Al-Shennawi, the Muslim, declined to participate in the cup ceremony because it would be held in front of a billboard for alcoholic drinks. After the incident, FIFA and the brand changed the award protocol to respect the religious teachings of all athletes.
By the way, the Russian World Cup was a turning point for the archer. He took the position of first-team selection in the preparatory friendlies for the tournament and never lost the position. In 2019, he took part in the African Cup of Nations and now dreams of an Olympic medal, which necessarily involves getting Brazil out of the way.
The Brazilian team was unbeaten in the Tokyo Olympics. With two victories (4-2 over Germany and 3-1 over Saudi Arabia) and a draw (0-0 with Côte d’Ivoire), Group D took the lead.
Egypt took second place in its category and has already been defeated once (1-0 to Argentina). They also achieved a win (2-0 against Australia) and a draw (0-0 against Spain).
Football has been part of the Olympic program for more than 120 years, since the 1900 Paris Games. Over the course of more than a century of history, 19 different teams have won the gold medal. Hungary and the United Kingdom, with three titles each, are the biggest winners.
Brazil joined the Olympic Champions Club only five years ago, at Rio 2016, when they had the opportunity to play on their home soil. Before, he had already claimed five more medals in men’s football: three silver (Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, London 2012) and two bronze (Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008).
This time around, the Olympic final will be held on August 7, in Yokohama, the scene of the fifth world championship they won in 2002. The day before, Tokyo National Stadium received the decision for the women’s championship.
Men’s Football – Quarter-finals *
5 hours – Spain x Côte d’Ivoire (Miyagi Stadium in Rivo)
6 a.m.: Japan v New Zealand (Ibaraki Stadium, Kashima)
7 a.m. – Brazil x Egypt (Saitama Stadium, in Saitama)
8 a.m.: South Korea-Mexico (Yokohama International Stadium).
* All times are in Brasilia time
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