Impossible to abandon my loyalty to Ahly and still considering international retirement, says Il Capitano Ghaly

Eslam Omar , Wednesday 20 Sep 2017

Hossam Ghaly talked to Ahram Sports weekly magazine about his move to the Saudi Al-Nasr from his Alma Mater Ahly, future as Egypt international, and what after leaving the pitch

Hossam Ghaly of Egypt's (Photo: Reuters)

Former Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly has stressed his loyalty to his boyhood club despite his recent sudden move to Al-Nasr of Saudi Arabia in a free summer transfer and revealed he is considering retiring international career.

In a lengthy interview with Ahram Sports weekly magazine, Ghali said "It's impossible for me to escape from Ahly. This didn't happen during my entire career. My contract just expired and the domestic competition's schedule wasn't fixed regularly and I needed to be part of a fixed tournament … I was offered a move from Al-Nasr club which I joined in 2009 and I have good memories from my spell there," 

The 36-year-old, who started his career with Ahly's first team in 2000, had successful journeys playing abroad in Europe with Feyenoord, Tottenham Hotspur, Derby County and Lierse before settling down at his boyhood club since 2014.

"I expect an Ahly return again. I really hope this happens as I can't live without Ahly. I will reconsider my future when my spell at Al-Nasr ends. I am thinking about starting a managerial career after my retirement as a player."

Il Capitano, as many fans like to nickname him, also discussed his relationships with teammates and coach, commenting on several disputes he was involved in with colleagues over the years.

"I am not a trouble-maker. In fact, I find myself inside the troubles because of my faithful loyalty towards Ahly and the Egyptian national team. Sometimes, this faithfulness makes others angry at me,"

"I really respect Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry and I was in contact with him all the time even before his return as manager. Spontaneously, I used to lead my teammates on the field, due to my natural personality but this cost me a lot. I don't care because the leader always pays the price,"

I'm under my national team's command

Regarding being abandoned in the past two years by the Egyptian national team Argentine coach Hector Cuper, Ghaly said he is still seriously contemplating international retirement, wishing the Pharaohs success to reach the 2018 World Cup.

"Retiring international football is my decision, and I won't take it in an emotional way. I am thinking deeply about it and I will announce it when I take it," Ghaly expressed.

Seven-time African Cup of Nations champions Egypt are bidding for their third-ever World Cup appearance, ending 28 years of failure to qualify for the prestigious tournament.

Topping Group E with nine points, the Pharaohs are looking for a victory over Congo on 10 October in Alexandria to bring them a step closer to Russia 2018.

"I wish the best for my national team and I hope we could finally make it to the World Cup and I will always be there for my team the moment they called me up," Ghaly answered a question about him 'losing hope for Pharaohs return'.

The full interview with Ghali by Ahram Sports reporter Mohamed El-Dakkar and it's published on this week's edition

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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