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‘We’ll try many things against Portugal and Ronaldo’ - Egypt's Hector Cuper

8:34 PM IST 20/03/18
Cristiano Ronaldo Andre Silva Portugal
The Pharaohs start their preparation for the quadrennial tournament against the European Champions on Friday
Egypt aim to use Friday’s friendly encounter against Portugal to improve their performance ahead of the World Cup, according to coach Hector Cuper.

The north Africans will trade tackles with a Selecao side, headlined by current World Best Player, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cuper is looking forward to how well they can contain the Real Madrid superstar - having ‘studied’ him well - amongst other things.

"We are working on improving our performance at the World Cup. We will try many things against Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo [in Friday's friendly match]," Cuper said in a press conference on Tuesday.

"We always respect our opponent. Even if it is Europe's champions Portugal, it is a very strong and important game.

"The technical staff have studied Portugal and Ronaldo well, as we did with Uruguay and their stars Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, and we will see what will happen in the match.

"I can't reveal my plan for countering Ronaldo; all I can say is that he is the best player in the world," he concluded.

While Ronaldo’s presence in the tie has Cuper with one or two things to worry about, Fernando Santos will definitely be wary of an in-form Mohamed Salah - whom Manchester City and Selecao star, Bernardo Silva had described as one of the best in the world ahead of the tie at the Letzigrund Stadion on Friday evening.

The forward has proven, severally, to be the man for the big occasion as his heroics, including a decisive last-gasp penalty against Congo, in the World Cup qualifiers were crucial in seeing Egypt return to the global showpiece after a 28-year hiatus.

Also, the 25-year-old has been a revelation since moving to Liverpool in the summer, with his haul of 38 goals coming in only 41 games.