Wigan’s Sam Morsy sets his sights on reaching the World Cup – with Egypt
RED tape may have scuppered Sam Morsy’s chances of appearing at an international tournament earlier this year, but now he’s got the biggest one of all in his sights.
Having featured in two friendlies for Egypt, making his debut in a 1-1 draw with Guinea last August, the Wigan midfielder has found himself playing alongside the likes of Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and Roma star Mohamed Salah on the international stage.
The 25-year-old qualifies for Egypt through his father Mekawy, but the lengthy process required to exempt the tough-tackler from military service prevented him from featuring in Egypt’s recent African Cup of Nations campaign. With that issue now cleared, Morsy has a new target.
“I grew up watching big tournaments like the World Cup and I’d love to play in one,” he said. “You’ve got to keep your feet on the ground, but you’ve got to dream about things like that.
“I think I had a good chance of going to the African Cup of Nations but the paperwork meant I couldn’t go. You’re exempt from having to go in the military but it takes some time. It was a bit of a kick in the teeth but there was nothing I could do about it, and I’ll just have to aim for the next tournament.”
Morsy’s immediate aim on the international front is to maintain his place in the Pharaohs squad for the next World Cup qualifier against Tunisia on June 13.
He may be rubbing shoulders with established top-flight stars and playing under Hector Cuper, the manager who led Valencia to back-toback Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001, but the Wigan ace is taking it all in his stride.
“One of the things that you notice is how humble all of the Egyptian players are – they’re unbelievable,” added Morsy, who presented youngster from Ashton Park FC with new shirts as part of the Wickes Kit for Kids campaign.
“The manager has been in Champions League finals and he’s absolutely top class, but it’s still like a family atmosphere whenever you’re with Egypt.
“Being a part of it really takes you to the next level.”
Morsy is aiming for the stars with Egpyt but, in the short-term, he is focussed on attempting to help Wigan escape the Championship relegation zone.
It’s a different challenge for Morsy, who won promotion from League Two with Port Vale and Chesterfield before helping Wigan to the League One title last term.
When asked if he believes the Latics can survive, Morsy, who spent the first half of this season on loan at Barnsley, replies, ‘stranger things have happened’.
Surely that would be no stranger than a boy who was let go by Wolves at the age of 16 blazing a trail with the Egyptian national team?
CLUB DUTY: Sam Morsy in action for Wigan