Ahly coach urges veteran skipper Ghaly to delay retirement, welcomes Sobhi's possible return

Ahram Online , Sunday 1 Apr 2018

Hossam El-Badry said he has spoken with Hossam Ghaly over his planned retirement, insisting that the player still has more to offer the club

Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry (L) with veteran skipper Hossam Ghaly during the team's training session (Photo: Ahram)

Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry said on Sunday that he has asked midfielder Hossam Ghaly to reconsider his decision to retire at the end of the season, saying the player is "still capable of offering something on the pitch."

Speaking on an Egyptian radio station, the 56-year-old tactician said, "I need Ghaly in the next season. I talked with the technical staff members and we agreed that the player is still capable of playing well. I talked to Ghaly, asking him to slow down before putting his decision into action."

The nomadic forward recently declared that he would hang up his boots and embark on an administrative career at the end of season, ending a playing career at his boyhood club Ahly, where he has starred since 2000.

The 36-year-old has complained of feeling depressed over his dispute with Egypt coach Hector Cuper regarding the Egyptian national team. Ghaly and Cuper had disagreed on tactical issues, and the palyer was subsequently cut from the Egypt squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Despite mounting criticism of Ghaly's behaviour, he remains one of the most gifted Egyptian midfielders of all time, with his neat distribution of the ball, cross-field passes and skilful moves past challengers earning him acclaim.

He won three Egyptian league titles, two Egyptian Cup titles and two African Champions League titles with Ahly. He was also part of Egypt's 2010 African Cup of Nations winning side.

Ghaly also had success abroad, playing in Europe with Feyenoord, Tottenham Hotspur, Derby County and Lierse, before settling down at his boyhood club in 2014.

Ramadan Sobhi return welcomed

Meanwhile, El-Badry expressed his hopes at the possible return of Ramadan Sobhi, saying it would be "a major tactical addition" to the team.

Sobhi's original four-year loan from Ahly to Stoke City ended in the summer of 2016, but his deal was extended for another season in October.

The 21-year-old has made 22 appearances in all competitions so far this season, scoring three goals, including two in the elite Premier League. He became Stoke's youngest ever scorer in the Premier League when he struck in the 3-1 home victory over West Bromwich Albion in December.

Sobhi is a regular member of Egypt's national squad and is expected to be included in the Pharaohs' final roster for the summer World Cup in Russia.

No more Abdullah El-Said at Ahly

The coach has also insisted that the team's talented playmaker Abdullah El-Said will be be sold or loaned following the problems caused by his signing with arch-rivals Zamalek before renewing with his team.

"El-Said's situation is related to the board's decisions. The board was very clear regarding selling him or loaning him," he stated.

Ahly are on the verge of winning their third successive Egyptian Premier League title and their 40th ever, leading the table with 75 points, 19 more than their closest chasers Ismaily.

Ahly will continue their African Champions League bid against Esperance on 4 May after an easy win against Gabon's CF Mounana.


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