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Tunisia coach unhappy over lack of playing time for Zamalek's Tunisian duo

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Sep 2018
Tunisia manager Faouzi Benzarti Reuters
Views: 1534
Views: 1534

Tunisia manager Faouzi Benzarti said he is unhappy that Zamalek's Tunisian duo Hamdi Nagguez and Ferjani Sassi are not getting enough playing time at the Egyptian club.

Benzarti called-up right-back Nagguez for Sunday's African Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland but dropped central midfielder Sassi.

"I hope that Tunisian players in the Egyptian league get their chance to play more games," Benzarti told Egyptian television channel ON Sports on Tuesday.

"I am unhappy with Nagguez's situation with Zamalek. I hope that he can regain his place as a regular member in Zamalek starting line-up.

"Ferjani Sassi also missed the majority of Zamalek's games this season but he has played lately and produced good performance in his team's last game."

Despite featuring in Zamalek's starting XI against Petrojet in the Egyptian Premier League opener, Nagguez fell out of favour with Zamalek coach Christian Gross, who opts to deploy the diminutive Hazem Emam on the right flank.

Summer-signing Sassi initially struggled to break into the starting XI as he was short of match fitness but was recently given a chance to shine.

He came on as a second-half substitute in Zamalek's stunning 1-0 defeat by top-flight debutants Nogoom FC before producing a man-of-the-match display in a 4-1 defeat of Enppi, providing two assists.

Tunisia play in Group J of the Nations Cup qualifiers along with Egypt, Niger and Swaziland. They are on top of the group with three points after beating the Pharaohs 1-0 at home in their opening match.

Asked if he voted for Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah in his race for FIFA's Best Player Award, the veteran coach said he cannot describe the Liverpool man as the best in the world.

Salah was named in the final three-man shortlist for the award alongside Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Salah features among the best players in the world but he is not the best," Benzarti added.

"We should not say that Salah is the best player in the world. We cannot even say that Lionel Messi is the best."

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