Elneny might have lost the final with his country, nonetheless, he was praised for his efforts during the competition.
Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny enjoyed a memorable Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt recently. Egypt went all the way to the final after producing impressive results along the way in the tournament. However, they fell short to Senegal in the title match. The intriguing clash finished goalless after 120 minutes. But in the penalty shootout, Senegal prevailed 4-2 over Egypt to lift the trophy. Elneny might have lost the final with his country, nonetheless, he was praised for his efforts during the competition. The Arsenal midfielder, who was one of the star performers for Egypt in the tournament, recalled his experience.
“The Africa Cup of Nations is always something special, for us and the people in Egypt, for the kids who are waiting for it every two years,” Elneny told Arsenal Media. “They were really excited, all my team-mates as well – no one had won it one time [personally]. We won the most titles in Africa, we won it seven times. This makes me want to win it at least one time because we reached the final two times but unfortunately we didn’t win.
“I’m really, really proud of my team. [In the knockout stages] we went 120 minutes for three games before the final and this isn’t something I think so many teams can do. There’s no recovery actually, it’s just one day to recover. It’s something I’m really, really proud of my team [for].”
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“Of course it makes me sad when I remember this game, we gave everything. We got to penalties as well, but we know penalties is just in the hands of the gods. No one knows what is going to happen with penalties. When we saw the fans when we got back to Egypt, when I listened to my family, I saw how proud they are of us. This makes us [feel] a little bit nice inside because we were broken after the game.”
Elneny continued to maintain his top form for Egypt throughout the competition and his reward was being named in the AFCON team of the tournament.
“I am really happy to be one of the [best XI],” he said. “This shows how hard I work, how hard I work every day in training. Of course every day I want to improve myself, in training, in the games, this is what I love every day, to try to improve myself, to be better every day.”