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2015 King Fut Egyptian Awards
With the year drawing to a close, we’re thrilled to present the 2015 King Fut Egyptian Awards, recognizing the best performers over the past 12 months.
2015 saw many teams, players, and coaches shine and dazzle onlookers, and we at King Fut took it upon us to pick out the top performers in each category (player/club/manager) over the past calendar year. The King Fut team were all involved in the voting process for the 2015 King Fut Egyptian Awards. To see the winners, click on the tabs above. We hope you enjoy the feature, and from all of us at King Fut, Happy New Year!
Mohamed Salah, King Fut’s Player of the Year
Team: AS Roma (Italy)
Apps (including substitute appearances): 51
It’s been a roller coaster of a year for Mohamed Salah. After his Chelsea career stalled – it was rumored that Mourinho was unconvinced of the Basyoun-born attacker’s ability to follow tactical instructions – a loan move to Fiorentina in January 2015 looked like it could be just the tonic he needed.
It turned out to be just that; he exploded into life at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, scoring three times and assisting once in his first four Serie A appearances.
His peak in 2015 arguably came a month into his stint with the Viola, as he blew reigning Serie A champions Juventus out of the water at the Juventus with a delightfully-taken brace. His first goal in particular was a joy to behold, and won the hearts of the Fiorentina faithful.
The 23-year-old has gotten off to a good start with the Giallorossi, despite missing four weeks due to injury and getting sent off once. He will hope to build on that start in the coming year, with Roma still competing in the Serie A title race as well as the UEFA Champions League.
Bassem Morsi, King Fut’s Local-based Egyptian Player of the Year
Team: Zamalek SC
To say that 2015 was a breakthrough year for Bassem Morsi would be stating the (extremely) obvious. After a promising start to life in Zamalek in the second half of 2014, Morsi really found his scoring touch in the league this year.
13 league goals in the second half of the campaign propelled Zamalek to a long-awaited league title, and his brace in the cup final was enough to defeat Al Ahly for the first time after 21 failed attempts.
Five goals in five appearances with the Egypt national team during the past 12 months has helped reinforce the striker’s excellent goals-to-games ratio with the Pharaohs. The only area in which the 23-year-old was found ‘lacking’ was the CAF Confederation Cup, but he has plenty of time to improve.
Zamalek SC, King Fut’s Egyptian Club of the Year
Zamalek players and fans alike will not forget 2015 in a hurry. The Whites finally ended their 21-match winless streak against Al Ahly, and just in time as well; they beat the Red Devils 2-0 to win the 2015 Egypt Cup final and seal the domestic double.
They had lost by the same scoreline earlier to Fathi Mabrouk’s side, but still managed to comfortably win the league title for the first time since 2003.
Despite losing the 2015 Super Cup against their eternal rivals, Zamalek were clearly superior to Al Ahly during the calendar year and as a result, deserve the award.
Jesualdo Ferreira, King Fut’s Egyptian* Coach of the Year
“One is a coach with a 30-year career, the other with a three-year one. The one with 30 years has never won anything; the one with three years has won a lot. The one who has coached for 30 years has an enormous career; the one with three years has a small career. The one with a 30-year career will be forgotten when he ends it; the one with three could end it right now and he could never be erased from history. This could be the story of a donkey who worked for 30 years but never became a horse.”
Such were the words of Jose Mourinho when writing for Portuguese magazine Record Dez in 2005. Ferreira’s CV might not be as shiny as Mourinho’s, but to Zamalek fans and players, he is anything but a ‘donkey’. The Portuguese manager stepped in a month after Jaime Pachecho ‘fled’ his post as Zamalek boss as a result of president Mortada Mansour’s aggressive, hands-on style of running the club.
Ferreira rode any turbulence with the Whites and guided them to a first league title in 12 years, as well as a Cup triumph and the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals. His departure might have been in unsavory circumstances, but Zamalek fans will always remember him fondly.
*Ferreira is Portuguese, but by ‘Egyptian’ we mean coaching an Egyptian national team or club.