Ahly’s promising playmaker Sayoud aims to avoid spotlight

Hatem Maher , Friday 6 May 2011

Ahly’s Amir Sayoud says he aims to keep his head down after producing a superb performance against Gouna

Amir Sayoud

Ahly’s playmaker Amir Sayoud said he is keen to sidestep the intense spotlight that was directed on him following his virtuoso performance in Tuesday’s Egyptian Premier League game against Gouna.

The Algerian earned round applause after displaying a series of tricks during Ahly’s 1-0 victory which took them to within four points of arch-rivals and league leaders Zamalek.

He also created the match’s only goal with a neat defence-splitting pass that left striker Osama Hosny with the easy task of finding the net after seven minutes.

The Egyptian media lavished praise on Sayoud and went as far as comparing him with Ahly’s inspirational playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika, who has failed to impress so far this season amid speculation over whether he can replicate the heroics of the past seven years.

“I want to remain far from the media spotlight,” Sayoud, who joined Ahly in the summer of 2009 but struggled to break into the first team squad, said in an interview with Algerian paper Elheddaf.

“I rarely read newspapers and I don’t follow the football TV shows. I’m aware of one fact: that I’m yet to do anything prominent in my career; there is still a long way to go.

“If I read anything that is written about me I’ll lose my concentration. Everyone has the right to speak and comment about my performances and I have the right to concentrate on the job ahead of me.”

"Great player"

Sayoud said he is keeping his feet on the ground after media drew comparisons between him and Abou-Treika, who has led Ahly to a host of domestic and African titles since joining them in January 2004.

The form of Abou-Treika, a 32-year-old classic playmaker who is likened to French great Zinedine Zidane, faded this season after age seemingly took its toll.

Sayoud’s pace and vitality might prompt coach Manuel Jose, a keen admirer of Abou-Treika and the architect of his rise to prominence, to snub the Egyptian international who earned a cult status among Ahly’s faithful.

“I’m pleased with comments that I might succeed Abou-Treika, but I know in advance that it will be very difficult to achieve that aim,” Sayoud added. “Abou-Treika is a really great player, I’m honoured to learn from him. I will be satisfied if I achieved half of what Abou-Treika achieved. I still have to learn many things to make a name for myself, such as that great player.”

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