Statistically, Egypt is most successful football side in Africa.
But when it takes on Uruguay in its World Cup 2018 opener, it will be the team’s first FIFA World Cup appearance in 28 years.
This presents something of a paradox as this tournament is, after all, meant to be a quadrennial showcase of the very best footballing countries on the planet.
Yet, despite the consistent success enjoyed by the Pharaohs – Egypt have won seven Africa Cup of Nations titles, at least two more than their closest rivals Cameroon – the team has been largely missing on the biggest stage, qualifying only twice previously: 1934 and 1990.
In the 28 years since its last World Cup appearance, Egypt won four of their total seven continental crowns – the golden age of Egyptian football.
Following the dour defensiveness of 1990, Egypt failed to qualify for USA 1994 after being knock