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FEATURE | Egyptians who captained in Europe
The beginning of the 2016/17 season saw an Egyptian player become the permanent captain of a European side for the very first time. Aly Ghazal made history when he became the first choice captain of his Portuguese side Nacional Madeira. KingFut sheds the light on the Pharaohs Abroad who captained their sides, at least once, before.
Abdel Zaher El Saka
El-Sakka spent around 10 years in Turkey, playing for several big clubs such as Genclerbirligi, Eskisehirspor, Konyaspor & Denizlispor. The Mansoura youth product captained Genclerbirligi in a goalless draw against Trabzonspor in 2008. El-Sakka went on to make over 150 appearances in Turkey, almost six times as many matches he played in Egypt! The defender has 109 international caps to his name and three African Cup of Nations winners medal, having won the competition in 1998, 2006 and 2010.
Since joining Nacional in 2013, from Wadi Degla, Ghazal established himself as one of the main pillars in his side’s line-up. The defensive midfielder had already captained the team for the first time in the derby game against Maritimo last season. Only 24 years old at the time, Ghazal broke records being the youngest player to captain the club where Cristiano Ronaldo began his career. This season Ghazal wrote his name in Egyptian football history by becoming the permanent captain of Nacional as he closes in on 120 appearances for the club.
Elmohamady is one of the most established Pharaohs Abroad particularly in the English Premier League. Elmo first arrived in England in 2010 at Sunderland coming from ENPPI, before moving to Hull City on loan in 2012. The pacey right back has since became a regular starter for the Tigers, making over 120 appearances since singing a permanent deal in 2013. The Egyptian international captained his side for the first time in the third round League cup clash against Swansea last season. In this season’s edition of the same tournament, the 28-year-old led a young Hull City side in the second round clash against Exeter City.
Zidan, who played most of his career in Denmark and Germany, captained a European side in two occasions. The veteran striker led German giants Dortmund in two friendly games in 2011. In July Zidan wore the armband against his former team Hamburg in the final of a pre-season friendly tournament LIGA Total. Dortmund, who were the Bundesliga champions, won the tournament after Zidan scored the second goal in a 2-0 victory. Later that year, Zidan was again on the scoresheet as captain of Dortmund, scoring a hat-trick in a 7-0 win over Austrian side SV Horn.
‘Captain’ Zidan scores for Dortmund against Hamburg:
Sam Morsy is an English-Egyptian central midfielder who recently earned his debut for the Egyptian national side in the friendly against Guinea. This summer Morsy joined Barnsley from Wigan Athletic on a deadline day transfer. However, he played most of his professional career at Port Vale and Chesterfield in League One. Morsy captained Chesterfield in numerous occasions including FA Cup fourth round clash against Scunthorpe United and against his former side Port Vale. The 24 year-old, who had dreamt of an Egypt call-up, was impressing for Chesterfield and attracted attention from Wigan Athletic. He signed for the Latics in the last winter transfer window where he won the 201516 League One title.
El-Abd is another English-Egyptian player, who became more widely known to Egyptian fans after a brief stint for the Egyptian national team during the era of former Egypt coach Bob Bradley. Born in Brighton, Adam played most of his career at his home town club Brighton & Hove Albion, making 300 appearances for the club. The 32-year-old centre back moved to Bristol City in 2014, but was loaned to Bury, Swindon Town, and Gillingham respectively. At Swindon Town, El-Abd wore the armband during his side’s victory over Sam Morsy’s Chesterfield in a landmark game which saw two Pharaohs Abroad captains go head to head for the first time. Adam also captained Shrewsbury Town on a number of occasions.
Two Pharaohs abroad captains clash, Chesterfield 0-4 Swindon Town: