File Photo of Ahly's Walid Azaro (Photo: Reuters)
Walid Azaro came in for stinging criticism by many Ahly fans for his profligacy during his early days with the club but he is now winning over them and enjoying a fine run that he hopes will result in a Morocco call-up for the World Cup.
The 22-year-old joined Ahly last summer from Morocco's Difaa El-Jadida but initially struggled to break into the team's starting line-up.
However, his pace and physique prompted coach Hossam El-Badry to rely on him and has grasped his chance with both hands, becoming Ahly's number one choice upfront.
His wastefulness was singled out by many Ahly supporters though but he continues to defy critics, becoming the team's top scorer with nine goals in 15 appearances in the Egyptian Premier League.
His league goals included the third in a 3-0 Cairo derby win over Zamalek last Monday and he was the hero in Friday's Egyptian Super Cup in the United Arab Emirates, robbing the Masry keeper in extra time to score the winner and give Ahly a 10th title.
Azaro believes he now has the backing of the ever-demanding Ahly supporters.
"Ahly fans always help and support me and I'm trying to take advantage of that to shine and score more goals," Azaro told Abu Dhabi Sports TV channel following Friday's Super Cup game.
"We fulfilled our target after a difficult and strong match against Masr."
World Cup dream
Azaro is hoping his current form will help him play at the World Cup with Morocco.
He has earned three international caps with the Atlas Lions so far, featuring in two friendly games and one African Cup of Nations qualifier.
"I have a big ambition to achieve with Ahly and I'm not considering leaving as I'm already committed to the best team in Africa. Ahly will be my door to play with Morocco at the World Cup in Russia," said Azaro.
Ahly currently lie second in the Egyptian league table with 39 points, one behind leaders Ismaily with the Reds still having a game in hand.
Azaro is the third among Egyptian league scorers this season, two goals behind top scorer and Maqassa striker John Antwi.(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)