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Maaloul: I didn’t hesitate to join Al Ahly
Ali Maaloul signed for the Egyptian champions on Wednesday, becoming Al Ahly’s third signing of the season as the club is attempting to bolster the squad after the departures of Malick Evouna and Ramadan Sobhi.
The former CS Sfaxien captain admitted that he turned down several European offers to join the Club of the Century as it is an offer that shouldn’t be turned down.
“In addition to Al Ahly’s offer, I received to other offers from France, FC Lorient and Stade Rennes, but I decided to join Al Ahly for its reputation in Africa and the world. It is a great chance for me to play for such a big club in order to make history and win many titles,” stated Maaloul.
Maaloul also admitted that he didn’t follow the Egyptian Premier League until he received an offer from Al Ahly: “Watching Al Ahly’s games and seeing its good performances is one of the reasons that encouraged me to join.”
“Al Ahly’s recent poor performances do not mirror the club or its history and I wish Al Ahly can beat Wydad in the CAF Champions League and return to winning ways,” said Maaloul.
“I know a lot of Al Ahly’s players like Hossam Ghaly, Hossam Ashour, Amr Gamal, and Ahmed Fathi, but I don’t know anyone on a personal level,” he stated.
“I can play anywhere on the left side of the field, a full-back, midfielder, or winger, and I’ve played in all those positions with CS Sfaxien,” he claimed.
Maaloul drew parallels between the Tunisian Ligue 1 and the Egyptian Premier League, ensuring that fitting in with the team should not be a problem.
“The team breakdown and tactics involved are very similar, the only difference is fan attendance. Many fans support theirs teams in the stand and I wish the Egyptian fans can return to the stadiums,” he explained.
Maaloul then spoke about the challenges he’ll face as a player and his ambitions with his new club.
“There will be a lot of competition between the players and that will benefit us and the team itself. In the end, the ones who work hard will gain the trust of the coaching staff and will become starters. It is a great responsibility to wear Al Ahly’s shirt and I hope I can deliver my best to help the team win more titles,” stated the 26-year-old.
“My current goal is to win the CAF Champions League with Al Ahly, and then next season’s league title. After that, the team will want to win every title we compete for to make the fans happy,” he said.
“My role model is former Sfaxien player Abdel-Karim El-Nafty, but my role model in current world football is Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo,” he concluded.