Adam El Abd reflects on time with Salah
In an interview with The Argus, the Wycombe Wanderers captain explained how highly rated Salah was in Egypt as a youngster.
“When I was first there they had four of them they had brought through as top young players,” said El Abd. “I remember we were in camp in Cairo and I used to mark Mo every day in training. One time I got caught in a race against him. Needless to say I came off second best.”
El Abd also spoke about how he communicated with his Egypt teammates, explaining “I was half-Egyptian, half-English, brought up in England and arriving in the squad predominantly speaking English. He [Salah] made a real effort to talk to me even though his English was a bit broken.”
Salah was still plying his trade in Egypt with El Mokawloon when El Abd was in the Egypt setup, and the former Brighton defender recalls discussing Salah’s transfer prospects with him.
“He was asking me one night for advice about where he should go. He had the chance of Basel or Zenit St Petersburg. He was in the hotel and he was asking me about going to Russia. He alluded to the fact Zenit were offering silly money. I just said I wasn’t sure how he would be received there and he said he agreed. He did really well at Basel.”
The English born defender then spoke on Salah’s character, adding “He was very likeable, very popular amongst the boys. He was shy, mild-mannered. Then on the pitch he came alive. He is very humble but football is as big as religion in Egypt and he is basically the God of Egyptian football.”
El Abd’s next game for Wycombe is an FA Cup tie against minnows Leatherhead, which if Wycombe win will lead to a potential match up against Premier League opposition in the third round.
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