Zamalek’s Moruf Yusuf almost represented Egypt
Zamalek midfielder Moruf Yusuf has opened up about his journey in Egypt, revealing he nearly represented the Pharaohs instead of the Nigerian national team.
The 24-year-old was called-up by Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr following his performances with Zamalek in the league and Africa’s continental club competition the CAF Champions League, as the Super Eagles lack quality players in the left-back position.
“I started with a local team in Ilorin, Kwara United. Made few appearances before I was spotted by an Egyptian side El Shota and there I grew into a good player who every manager in Egypt adores,” Yusuf told Completesportsnigeria.
“I joined Zamalek four years ago and I’ve won four trophies, the Egyptian Premier League in 2014-15, Egypt Cup in 2015, 2016 and the Egyptian Super Cup in 2016,” he added.
He was then asked if he was approached by the Egyptian national team and he replied: “I was close to joining up with the Pharaohs under their American coach Bob Bradley.
“The coach then came to watch a national team player then while I was at El Shorta and he saw me and made enquiries if I was Egyptian but so many factors hindered it from happening,” Yusuf added.
When asked about what those factors were, the Nigerian said: “I was not Egyptian and all that. They believed other Egyptian players should get more opportunities at that level but I had no problem with that.”
“It was an offer and I considered it. Four years on, I have no regrets. I eventually got an invitation to the Super Eagles, so who says with hard work I can’t break in and besides they have some good players too in their squad,” the midfielder concluded.
Moruf Yusuf is considered the man running the show for Zamalek these days, after piling up a number of decent performances towards the end of a disappointing season for the White Knights.
The Nigerian has recorded three assists in 29 appearances in all competitions this season, guiding his side to the Egyptian Super Cup title last February.
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