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Player Profile: Ahmed Hegazy | Nesta of the Pyramids
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Ahmed Hegazy is a young and well-built defender who signed a 4-year contract with ACF Fiorentina during the summer of 2012 – leaving his hometown club Ismaily SC. Hegazy has great composure, character and at his tender age, is already one of the best centre-backs in Egyptian football.
Within a year, Ahmed Hegazy went from playing at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Columbia to starting for Egypt’s senior national team in 2014 World Cup qualifiers. The towering defender has been a crucial member of the Egypt U-20 national team since the age of 18, when he first made a name for himself at the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt. In Columbia, Egypt were eliminated from the U-20 World Cup in the 2nd round after losing to Argentina 2-1 (thanks to a disgraceful penalty decision). During that match, Hegazy, who loves to burst forward, almost scored the equalizer deep in stoppage time – only to have his header cleared off the line.
On his first full competitive match for Fiorentina in 2012/2013, Ahmed Hegazy scored in the Coppa Italia against Juve Stabia but unfortunately a week after, he suffered a cruciate ligament injury which kept him sidlined for almost five months. He returned to action in May 2013 as a substitute in the Viola’s 1-0 Serie A victory over Palermo.
Hegazy impressed Vincenzo Montella during 2013/2014 pre-season and even scored in a friendly and it looked like the Egyptian was on his way to secure a regular place in the Viola’s starting line-up that season. He was recalled to the Egyptian national team starting eleven but his unfortunate path continued as the 22-year-old Egyptian centre-back re-injured his knee in a friendly with the national team against Uganda which ruled him out for another extensive period. As a result, Hegazy missed Fiorentina’s start of the season as well as the rest of Egypt’s World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign which ended with Egypt losing 7-3 on aggregate against Ghana.
Ahmed has been a regular in Egypt’s starting XI under Bob Bradley, starting in the majority of the American’s competitive fixtures when fit. He was also the heart of the Egyptian defense at the London 2012 Olympics.
*Last updated on January 6, 2014
– Great awareness.
– Leads the back-line solidly.
– Very strong and physical.
– Dominant aerial presence.
– Strong header of the ball.
– Lack of pace.
– Forward runs may leave defense exposed.