The Pharaohs' Khaled: We want to make our fans happy, and our aim is the quarter-final
For the 16th time in their history, Egypt will participate in the Men's Handball World Championship and being the host nation for the second time, they are eyeing a better finish than the seventh place achieved back when they hosted it in 1999.
The best place finish for the Pharaohs was fourth place two years later in 2001, with a crop of talented players known as the country's golden generation took France 2001 by storm.
Finishing in eighth place in 2019, reaching the latter stages of the tournament this time around is a much needed achievement.
Egypt will contest Group G alongside four-time champions Sweden, Chile, and the Czech Republic and the throw-off will be against the South American nation on the 13th of January at the Cairo International Indoor Complex Main Hall.
"The World Championship in Egypt is a huge chance for us to achieve something big for our country", said Egyptian right-back Yahia Khaled in an interview with Egypt 2021's website.
"The 2020 African Men's Championship was important, I was confident and my experience helped us win the title in Tunisia 2020, and I got the accolade of 'The best right back' in the tournament.
"Egypt have a good chance of achieving something in this World Championship, we have an excellent group of players and we aim to pass through the first round and the main group stage to reach the quarter-finals, and there we can see whether we have the capacity to advance. We have great confidence in ourselves and our coaching staff.
"It would have been better with fans present, they are very important but the current circumstances don't allow it so we will do our best to make them happy."
With former four-time world champions Sweden also in the group, Khaled believes that the group is balanced nonetheless.
"Our group is even, and we hope we can show what we're capable of in order to get first place in it and we will be taking everything step-by-step.
"There are many good coaches that I've been with, namely Roberto Garcia Parrondo, and David Davies. My relationship with Parrondo is good, he has excellent experience and is one of the best in the world. He deals with players really well and we hope to succeed with him."
Khaled had words for the fans who can't attend to round off the interview: "We had hoped you can attend somehow, and your support means a lot for us on social media. We want to do our best to make fans happy."