CAIRO: Hassan Shehata is happy that Egypt avoided being drawn alongside European champions Spain in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The Pharaohs were drawn with world champions Italy, Copa America winners Brazil and the United States in Group B of the tournament.
An Italy test is easier than Spain s, Shehata told Arab Radio and Television (ART) after the draw.
Although Italy are a very strong team, I hoped Egypt would draw them instead of facing Spain.
Egypt will play three matches in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers before flying to South Africa for the Confederations Cup.
Shehata believes those games may represent the ideal preparation for the anticipated tournament.
The players morale will be boosted if we win the three World Cup qualifiers ahead of the Confederations Cup.
Egypt s Confederations Cup debut in 1999 was disappointing, with the six-time African champions finishing bottom of Group A.
The unhappy memories of that tournament have been already banished.
We are looking forward to a much better campaign, Shehata, who led Egypt to back-to-back Nations Cup titles in 2006 and 2008, concluded.