The Egyptian FA named former Mexico manager Javier Aguirre as manager of their senior national team to begin their 2022 World Cup cycle. Aguirre, one of only five Mexicans managing a team outside of Mexico, replaces Argentinian Hector Cuper, who left the Pharoahs after leading them to their first World Cup appearance since 1990,
Aguirre, 59, has spent much of his managerial career abroad. While he managed El Tri on two occasions, once in 2001 and 2002, and the second from 2009 through the 2010 World Cup, Aguirre is best known outside of Mexico for his work abroad, first leading Osasuna to a rare appearance in the UEFA Champions League at any point in 2005-2006, after engineering a fourth place finish in La Liga, and Atletico Madrid’s trips to first the UEFA Cup (and later Europa League) and later the UEFA Champions League, and later spending time with both Espanyol and Real Zaragoza.
More recently, Aguirre managed the Samurai Blues of Japan between 2014 and 2015, leading them to an impressive display only to crash out of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup at the quarterfinal stag, and Emirati club Al-Wehda from 2016 to 2017.
Aguirre comes to manage the Egypt national team with his own share of potential lines of attack if the Pharoahs start to struggle. During and leading up into the 2010 World Cup, Aguirre refused to explain his logic at the time for selecting the teams that he had. While tactical plans and strategies discussed ahead of the match might not be the ones used, Aguirre’s reticence to offer any explanation opened him up to excoriation from many in the [Mexico-based] press covering El Tri when the team struggled to score during the 2010 edition. Aguirre had also earned a sacking by the Japan Football Federation (JFF) after Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors indicted him over his alleged role in match-fixing Real Zaragoza’s 2-1 win over Levante on the final day of the 2010-11 season while Aguirre was manager [at Zaragoza].
He will also deal with a national side with a clear talisman at the center of everything the team does in major competitions in Mohamed Salah, and a domestic club landscape that is not completely professional and the nouveau-riche Pyramids FC, who broke several African transfer records in July alone in only Turki Alalshikh’s first month as owner of the club.
When he takes charge of the Pharoahs, Aguirre will immediately lead his side into qualifiers. His first match in charge, barring any last-minute friendly additions, will be Egypt’s African Cup of Nations qualifier on September 7, when they take on Niger.