Egypt’s Mohamed Essam scored in a friendly tournament in Holland against Norwich and Halmstad with...
Player Profile: Ahmed Fathi
Club: Hull City (on loan from Al-Ahly SC)
Position: Right wing-back/Defensive midfielder
Age: 28 (10/11/1984)
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Ahmed Fathi is one of Egypt’s most versatile and consistent performers. Since his rise as a teenager in the early 2000s, Fathi has matured rapidly to grow into a model professional, who has become a regular for both club and country. His versatility and work ethics have always been praised by those who coach him, from Neil Warnock to Bob Bradley. His darting runs and telling crosses have been key to his success. Although he prefers to be employed on the right side of the midfield, Fathi usually plays as a right full-back. He has also been used numerous times as a defensive midfielder, and less frequently, a central defender.
At the age of 28, Fathi has already won various domestic and international accolades, having participated in numerous Africa Cup of Nations, CAF Champions Leagues, FIFA Club World Cups and the London 2012 Olympics. His name is constantly linked to European clubs, but he has only taste-tested English football so far. After an unsuccessful trial at Arsenal in the January 2007 transfer window, Fathi eventually left Egypt’s Ismaily SC to join Premier League outfit Sheffield United on a three-and-a-half year deal – making history as the first Egyptian to sign for a Premiership team directly from an Egyptian club. He failed to hold a regular place in Neil Warnock’s formation, but despite only appearing on three occasions in his only season with the Blades (vs Spurs, Liverpool and Everton), he still earned the praises from his former boss, who had his offer to re-sign Fathi with Queens Park Rangers in 2011 rejected by Al-Ahly, Warnock told Sheffield’s official website: “He’s 22 and is a nice type of lad who knows what the English game is all about.” Nevertheless, Fathi put pen-to-paper with Al Ahly later that year, however, after the transfer window in Egypt had already closed; forcing Ahly to send him out to Kuwaiti giants Kazma on a few months loan, before returning to Al-Ahly to become one of their most important players in recent times.
Since making his Pharaohs debut against South Africa in 2001, aged just 17, Fathi has also played a crucial role in the national team’s historic three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations triumphs in 2006, 2008 and 2010. In the 2010 edition, Ahmed Fathi was named in the tournament’s Best XI and was the Fair Play player of the competition. Not to mention, Fathi was also chosen in the 2012 CAF Team of the Year, the only other Egyptian alongside fellow Pharaoh Mohamed Abou-Treika. Fathi is currently a key member in Bob Bradley’s Egypt squad (who currently top their group in World Cup qualifying), where he usually starts at right-back over Ahmed Elmohamady.
• Great defensive awareness.
• Long-range strikes.
• Good crosser of the ball.
• Always gives maximum effort.
• Questionable delivery while running.
• Sometimes predictable going forward.
*Ambiguity (likely more)
Highlights with Al-Ahly:
Long-range strike vs DR Congo: