Elneny: I want to become an Arsenal legend
Egypt international Mohamed Elneny spoke about his ambitions with the national team, Arsenal, and his desire to be a legend like Thierry Henry.
Elneny, who is currently away on international duty at the Africa cup of Nations, played the full 90 minutes in the Pharaohs’ games against Mali and Uganda.
“This is my nation,” Elneny told Dailymail.com. “My country. I have to answer the call to play with the national team.
“For us as Egyptians we would do anything for our country. And in particular we know the importance of this tournament. The Egyptian fans are so keen to claim the title again,” he added.
The record seven-time champions are making their first AFCON appearance since 2010. The Pharaohs failed to qualify for the past three tournaments after winning three in a row between 2006 and 2010. They need at least a draw in their final group game against Ghana on Wednesday to secure their qualification to the knockout stage, regardless of the result of Mali’s match with Uganda.
“They are used to winning. It means they can’t accept defeat, or even a draw, easily. That’s why we always put in that little bit more effort, to please them,” he said.
Elneny, who spent three years at Swiss side FC Basel before moving to Arsenal last year, also spoke about his time with the Gunners, saying that he managed to adapt quickly.
“It’s been a great year for me,” Elneny revealed. “Playing in England, at one of the best five clubs in the world.
“Since I arrived, I’ve enjoyed the whole experience. Not just playing for the club, but the country itself. The friends I’m making, the supporters. The whole atmosphere around the football. It’s been one of the best years of my life,” he added.
“Everyone loves each other. When you feel like people love you, and they want you around, that makes you adapt quickly, you enjoy being there. That’s why when I leave, even on holiday or with Egypt, I miss it,” he added.
The 24-year-old revealed that he didn’t believe it at the beginning when he heard that Arsene Wenger wanted him to join the Gunners, saying it was a dream come true.
“Wenger is the best coach in the world, so when he called me…It means I’m going in the right direction,” he said.
“Like Thierry Henry. I mean, obviously not exactly like him. I have my own personality, my own character. I want to be different to anyone that’s gone before,” he explained.
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