Egypt return to the African Cup of Nations after a seven-year absence with a new generation looking to relight the glory days of three successive titles before the 2011 uprising tired Egyptian football.
Watching football has for decades been a favourite past-time for millions of Egyptians, especially with the national team who won the title in 2006, 2008, and 2010, making them one of the strongest teams in Africa and the Middle East.
But after 2011 this passion was rolled back among many fans due to memories of bloodshed and was dimmed in a uncertain economy.
Egypt returns to the tournament under totally different circumstances.
The tournament kicks off on January 14 in Gabon , Egypt drawn in Group D alongside Ghana, Uganda and Mali.
Out of the 23 players called up by Argentinian coach Hector Cuper, 19 are playing for the first time in the tournament, including Roma star Mohamed Salah.
Conditions severely changed in Egypt in the course of the political and security disorder that has engulfed the country since the January 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.
These disturbances impacted football, reflected in the team’s absence from the tournament in 2012, 2013, and 2015, despite winning seven tournaments before, a continental record.
Ramadan Sobhi, and Ahmed Elmohamady who play for the English clubs of Arsenal, Stoke City, and Hull City, and Kahraba who plays for the Saudi club Al-Ittihad.
The Egyptian team’s line-up includes 10 professional players based abroad , the biggest number in tournament history.