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Player Profile: Mohamed Zidan
Designed by Mohaned Ghanem
Name: Mohamed Zidan
Date of Birth: December 11, 1981
Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Current Club: Free Agent
Previous Club(s): Al Masry, Akademisk Boldklub, FC Midtjylland, Werder Bremen, Mainz 05, Hamburger SV, Borussia Dortmund, Baniyas
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Mohamed Zidan, who was born in Port Said, is arguably one of Egypt’s finest strikers. The 32-year-old flamboyant forward has never played at the professional level in the Egyptian league, having spent his entire professional career outside his country of birth. After spending 14 years playing professional football abroad, Zidan has decided to hang up his boots and has since been a TV pundit for Dubai Sports and beIN Sports on the Bundesliga and the European Champions League respectively.
Zidan started his football career as a striker for his hometown club Al Masry in 1998. The 17-year-old then didn’t impress his coaches, thus dropped from their youth team. Consequently, Zidan’s family decided to move to Denmark to help their son progress as a footballer.
The young Egyptian began training with Danish club Boldklubben af 1893 and featuring for Kokkedal BK in a few friendly games. He was scouted by Danish Superliga club Akademisk Boldklub (AB) and joined their ranks in 1999. Zidan spent 4 years at the club, featuring in 51 games and scoring 12 goals. In June 2003, he moved to AB’s rivals, FC Midtjylland (FCM). At his new club, Zidan became the league’s top scorer in the 2003-04 season. He was also voted player of the year the following season. FCM fans loved Zidan to an extent no words can describe. Not only for his 30 goals in the two seasons he spent at the club, but also for the 9 goals he scored in the first three games played in the club’s newly built stadium. The stadium is locally known as the ‘Zidan Arena’, and his number 14 shirt was retired after his massive contributions towards the club.
Mohamed Zidan’s top-notch performances in the Danish League earned him an approximate €3 million move to Werder Bremen in the winter of the 2004-05 season. Despite Zidan being awarded the number 9 jersey, he was loaned to Mainz for the remainder of the season after struggling to impress. Zidan contributed with 9 goals in 26 appearances for Mainz, including 7 appearances off the bench. In the 2006-07 season, Zidan secured his place in the Werder Bremen squad. Although only featuring for 15 games for his club, he managed to impress everyone affiliated with football in Germany. His performance against Hamburger SV in the DFB-Ligapokal semi-final was arguably his best performance in the #9 jersey for Bremen. He scored a goal and earned the Match of the Match award to guarantee his team a place in the Cup final.
Zidan didn’t feature much for Werder Bremen because he was constantly plagued with injuries. Consequently, on January 16, 2007, Zidan was transferred to Mainz for €3 million – a record transfer fee for the club. He managed to strike 6 goals in his first 5 games, picking them up from the bottom of the table to 10th place. The talented striker was voted Player of the Year in Germany (by Kicker magazine) following his massive performances.
Mainz’s fans idolized Zidan, however, his efforts were insufficient to keep Mainz in the Bundesliga that year. Although featuring for less than half the season due to several minor injuries, he manages to score on 13 occasions. In 2007, clubs in Germany and Spain were racing to secure Zidan’s signature, but on 3 June, 2007, Hamburger SV were able to welcome the Egyptian striker to their ranks for a reported fee of €5.8 million. His time at Hamburg proved to be a very short one. He only managed to score two goals in his 21 appearances for the club. The following season, Zidan signed a four-year contract with Borussia Dortmund, reuniting with his former coach at Mainz, Jürgen Klopp.
Zidan was awarded the number 10 shirt and managed to put on the black and yellow Dortmund shirt on 66 occasions, scoring in 13 of them. Zizo suffered a serious knee injury while he was in arguably the best form of his life. The injury kept him on the sidelines for over 6 months and he struggled to get back into the team after recovering. His services were hardly missed the following seasons he was at the club as BvB managed to win back-to-back Bundesliga campaigns starting with the 2010-11 season. Zidan made a few cameo appearances that season but was sent on loan last January to spend the last 6 months of his contract with his former employers Mainz; while Dortmund successfully defended their title and also won the German League Cup.
Following his return Mainz, Zidan became the first-ever player in the history of the Bundesliga to score in each of his first six games. He managed to add a extra goal to those 6, a total of 7 goals in only 12 appearances during his third spell with Mainz. On July 2012, Zidan put his European career to bed and embarked on a new journey, signing for the Abu Dhabi based club, Baniyas SC on a 2-year contract in July 2012; however, his contracted was terminated six months later after a bust up with the management.
Concerning his international career, Zidan has had a very controversial one. He missed out on the 2006 African Cup of Nations due to an injury, which everyone in Egypt deemed ‘fake’ because the striker felt that his national side wasn’t good enough to compete with the giants of Africa. However, Hassan Shehata, Egypt’s coach at the time, asked for Zidan’s services again before the 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi. Zidan managed to score his first international goal five minutes into the first half. He was a very important character in the 2008 African Cup of Nations winning campaign, scoring twice in the Group C opener against Cameroon and assisting Aboutreika’s winning goal in the final against the same side.
In the 2009 Confederations cup, Zidan managed to score twice against Brazil, but still ended up on the side that lost 4-3. Zidan was also a part of the squad that won the African Cup of Nations for a 3rd consecutive time in Angola 2010. Even though he managed to score once in the tournament – against fierce rivals Algeria – he again supplied the winning goal, this time for super sub Gedo against Ghana.
Egypt has grown a habit of not losing when Zidan scores, having only lost twice whenever he does. Despite being often called up under Bob Bradley, it’s unlikely to see Zidan playing for Egypt again under the American after refusing to be a part of the team that faced Central African Republic in an important Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, instead, opting to fly to China to hold contract talks – which eventually broke down – with a club there.
Style of Play
Well known in Europe and all over the planet, Zidan’s talent is a secret to no one. His flair, goal scoring and ability to create chances, has made him a star for the majority of clubs he featured for. Zidan loves to take on opponents with his trickery and often scores goal, usually by aiming for the top corner with his signature finesse shot. He can play as a lone striker, or with partner up front. He can also feature on the wing or as an attacking midfielder. Zidan’s career has been plagued with injuries, which kept him on the sidelines for quite a long time. Moreover, his low stamina has also proved to be a negative aspect in controversial striker’s game.
Last updated at 21/03/2014
– Great scoring rate.
– Powerful right-foot.
– Good vision and distribution.
– Greedy at times.
– Low stamina.
– Injury prone.
Teams Appearances Goals Assists
Akademisk Boldklub 48 12 NA
FC Midtjylland 47 30 NA
Werder Bremen 18 4 1
Mainz 05 57 30 6
Hamburger SV 34 4 4
Borussia Dortmund 73 15 10
Baniyas 11 4 1
Egypt 44 13 8
TOTAL 332 112 30+