Hossam Ghaly bids farewell to Ahly fans in 1-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam

Hatem Maher , Friday 11 May 2018

Hossam Ghaly
Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly bid farewell to the team's fans in a testimonial game against Ajax Amsterdam on Friday (Photo: Ahly's official Twitter account)

A tearful Hossam Ghaly bid an emotional farewell to Egyptian giants Ahly as they secured a late 1-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam in a testimonial marking his last game with his boyhood club on Friday.

The central midfielder, a talented schemer who was best known for his upfield passes and neat distribution of the ball, struggled to control his emotions as he addressed the crowd in the United Arab Emirates city of Al-Ain.

He thanked the supporters and expressed his gratitude for his family, including his wife who accompanied him on the pitch. He shed tears when speaking about his late father before kick-off.

Ahly scored the winner with seven minutes remaining when new signing Salah Mohsen chested down a long ball and sent a superb low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Ghaly was substituted with 14 minutes remaining, to a standing ovation.

The 36-year-old is a fan favourite whose fighting spirit was always lauded by Ahly's demanding supporters.

Nicknamed El Capitano, he was also criticised for losing his temper on a number of occasions, including in May 2015 when he kicked the captain's armband to the ground after being sent off in an Egyptian Premier League game.

He was consequently stripped off Ahly's captaincy but was later re-named as the team's skipper.

Ghaly is no stranger to controversy, having been vilified for a similar action while at English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2007.

He incurred the wrath of the Spurs' supporters when he angrily threw the team's shirt to the ground after being substituted in a league game against Blackburn Rovers.

Tottenham loaned him out to Derby County the following season before allowing him to leave on a free transfer in 2009.

Ghaly came through the youth ranks of Ahly, making his first-team debut in 2000. He went on to win four Egyptian league titles, two Egypt Cups, two African Champions Leagues and one African Confederation Cup among other minor accolades.

He also had stints with Saudi Arabia's Nasr, Belgian side Lierse and Dutch outfit Feyenoord.

Ghaly said he was not interested in becoming a coach, focusing instead on taking up an administrative role at Ahly. 

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

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