Did you expect to win the award?
I really hoped to be awarded this year, especially at this time as I am out of action because of a knee injury. I have also had some great achievements during my career, after inspiring the Pharaohs to win four African Cup of Nations titles, in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. I captained Egypt in Angola (2010) and I think I deserved this award and have been waiting for it for so long. But as I said before, it comes at a perfect time for me.
When will you resume action again?
I will travel to Germany soon to see my doctor and he’ll say when I should start trainings. I am really eager to be back on the field. Thank God I am making a quick recovery.
At the age of 36, do you consider retiring?
Not at all, this award motivated me to resume my career and achieve more goals. I will only retire when I feel that I am useless on the pitch. But for now, I think there are still many things to accomplish with Ahly and Egypt.
Who deserves the best African coach award?
Honestly, Hassan Shehata deserves the award, but Ghana’s coach Milovan Rajevac won it. Yes, the Serbian tactician helped his team reach the 2010 South Africa World Cup finals but if the Pharaohs were there, we could have done better than Ghana under the helms of Hassan Shehata. He is the best coach in the history of Africa, not only the best this year.