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Shikabala praises Sporting team-mate Slimani, aims to impress in Lisbon next season


congratulated team-mate following Algeria’s progression in the World Cup, and thanked the Desert Foxes’ striker for helping him settle in at the Portuguese club.

Egyptian winger Mahmoud Abdelrazek “Shikabala” congratulated Sporting Lisbon team-mate Islam Slimani for Algeria’s qualification to the round of 16 in the World Cup – for the first time in the nation’s history – after a 1-1 draw with Russia in the final fixture of the group stage.

Former Ismaily target Slimani is one of Algeria’s shining stars in Brazil, scoring 2 goals in 3 matches – one of them being the decisive goal against Russia, which saw the Desert Foxes advance from Group H, and sets them up in a tough clash against Germany next Monday.

Shikabala featured in the latest issue of Sporting Clube de Portugal’s official magazine and spoke about his first impressions, initial concerns with his lack of playing time, and how the Algerian striker helped him settle in Portugal.

“I came from a country of totally different customs and cultures, and I would like to thank my friends and colleagues who helped me adapt so fast,” Shikabala told the club’s magazine.

28-year-old Shikabala also praised Algeria’s star Islam Slimani and thanked him for his efforts with him: “I would also like to thank Slimani, who has helped me a lot in communicating with my team-mates without any problems.”

The Algeria striker mentioned his strong bond with fellow Arab Shikabala in March, saying: “Even when I didn’t play, he [Shikabala] talked a lot to me and never stopped incentivizing me and believing in me.”

However, Shika hinted that he initially had concerns regarding his own lack of participation in Lisbon: “I was worried about the delay of participation with the senior team, however, I was always focused and completely motivated to breakthrough, then everything went okay.”

“I haven’t played much to leave a good impression, but I want to be granted the opportunity next season, and I’ll be doing my best to earn this opportunity,” Shikabala added

Shikabala concluded his interview with the magazine hoping to have a strongly-built team next season under their new coach Marco Silva, aiming to finish stronger than this past season.

It’s worth noting that Shikabala moved to Sporting last January from Zamalek and featured several times with the reserves, until he earned his senior debut against Estoril last May.

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