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Cristiano Ronaldo discusses Egyptian football, praises Mido and Ahmed Hassan
Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, discusses Egyptian football in an exclusive interview with sports magazine Al-Ahram Al-Reyadi.
The Portuguese forward, who was has recently been named the 2013/2014 UEFA Best Player in Europe following a successful season with European champions Real Madrid, discussed Egyptian football – from players and managers to the Cairo giants, Al Ahly and Zamalek – in an interview with Al-Ahram.
Despite his lack of knowledge about Egyptian players, Ronaldo said that he was quite familiar with Ahmed Hassan, the world’s most capped international footballer, and former Spurs striker Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’.
“I do not know many Egyptian players, but I know Ahmed Hassan who was an excellent player who played for some European clubs. He left a good impression in Europe,” was Cristiano’s reply when asked about the current team director of the Egypt national team.
Some of these European clubs include top Turkish and Belgium teams, Beşiktaş and RSC Anderlecht.
Having starred in the English Premier League, during his time with Manchester United, ‘CR7’ was familiar with Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’, as the latter played for Tottenham Hotspur at that time.
“Mido was also a talented goal-scorer who established himself at many clubs in Europe, especially in the English Premier League,” the Real Madrid superstar told Al-Ahram Al-Reyadi.
“I knew that he had retired and become a coach of Zamalek.
“I wish him luck and I’m sure he will take full advantage of his European experience as a player,” added Cristiano.
The 29-year-old winger considers the Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek as “the backbone of Egyptian football.” Even though he has never visited Egypt, a BBC Documentary gave Cristiano insight about the two fierce rivals of the Cairo Derby.
“I know that Ahly and Zamalek are the best and most popular in Egypt. When I was at Manchester United, I watched a BBC documentary about the history of both clubs and their impact on the country.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is well acquainted with Al Ahly’s former Portuguese coach Manuel José. Ronaldo believes that the latter’s strong personality led to his success with the Reds, a total of 20 championships.
“Of course I know Jose very well, and I was pleased to hear that he succeeded with Ahly. The secret of his success is that he has a strong personality… he was right to choose Ahly and I’m sure Ahly benefited from that as well,” was his account of the Portuguese coach.
Shifting to his own football career, Cristiano is confident that Real Madrid will be back on its feet following a disappointing start in La Liga, as the 2014 UEFA Champions League winners lost 2 of their 5 league matches – against Real Sociedad and Atlético Madrid.
“We will return to our best as soon as this happens. We are still at an early stage and we can make up for the points we had lost.”