Wi­gan’s Sam Morsy sets his sights on reach­ing the World Cup – with Egypt

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Dan Barnes

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

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