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EXCLUSIVE | Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed talks about Beach Soccer and Football in Sinai
Former Egypt and Zamalek goalkeeper and current Egypt’s Beach Soccer goalkeeper, Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed says his participation with the Beach Soccer team comes with a role to get the media’s attention on the team.
El-Sayed spent most of his career at Zamalek from 1997-2014 winning 17 titles before spending a year at Masr El-Maqassa and later hanging his boots.
After his retirement he was offered a playing role with the Egyptian Beach Soccer team.
“I am on good terms with Khaled Latif, who supervises the Beach Soccer team and he had asked me to take part with the team,” The 38-year-old goalkeeper said.
“I didn’t mind it, I was ready to help Egyptian football in any possible way, after all I got a lot out of it for myself so it’s only fair for me to step up when called,” he added.
El-Sayed is set to take part in two friendly games with the Beach Soccer team as they face Bahrain in two friendly matches on Tuesday the 26th and Thursday 28th of April.
“Once Khaled Latif had asked me to take part with the team, I found no reason to refuse his request, I understand that my presence in the team is not only for the experience I hold but also to get the media’s attention towards the team” he said.
He was also keen to explain that the players currently playing with team are contracted to Egyptian teams in the lower-leagues and have what it takes to excel in beach soccer.
However he also added that not anyone can play beach soccer easily.
“Most of the players in the Egyptian League will find difficulty playing beach soccer. Playing under 10cm-12cm of sand is not the same as playing on a grass field.”
“It is heavier and harder to move and run, and as a goalkeeper you are always tricked because the ball takes different swerves as they shoot on you.”
“Personally, I find the most difficult thing for a goalkeeper is the start of his jump. On a grass field a goalkeeper will usually bend his knees while starting his jump to go higher, however on sand, you are forced to start it from your position because if you bend your knees you won’t be able to jump,” Waheed, as nicknamed by Zamalek fans said.
El-Sayed had earlier also taken part in a match with South Sinai, where he comes from.
“I had taken up the initiative to develop football in Sinai, where I originally come from, to raise awareness of the talent their. I had ten teams under me whom I supervised for a while but I concentrated more on South Sinai Club, which are the main club at the region,” he said.
“There are a lot of talented players over there which get overlooked for some reason and it’s my job to help them out.
“I played a match with South Sinai as a striker, and I managed to get a shot hit the post. It was a fun and good experience,” he concluded.