Egypt's top 10 footballers of the year

Ahram Online, Saturday 31 Dec 2011

Ahram Online gives you its selection of the best 10 players in Egypt in 2011 – in alphabetical order

Best players

Abdallah El-Saied

Abdallah El-Saied

The talented forward made the headlines last summer when he left Ahly for Ismaily rivals in a move worth EGP6.75 million (around $1.1 million). The 26-year old forward has been inspirational for Ismaily and helped them finish third in the league behind Ahly and Zamalek to clinch a CAF Confederation cup spot.

A fine dribbler, El-Saied has an excellent touch of the ball to deliver neat passes for his colleagues or to shoot and score. He proved that he is worth every penny since joining the Red Devils and became a regular starter in Manuel Jose’s lineup.

Ahmed Eid Abdel-Malek

Ahmed Eid Abdel-Malek

He seems to be the only player capable of making the difference for Harras El-Hodoud.

Abdel-Malek helped his team make a great recovery from the 13th place to finish the season at eighth place last season. Despite being unable to play for much of the season due to a knee injury, he managed to score 11 goals which made him the team’s best scorer and the third in the Egyptian Premier League.

The 32-year-old forward is still on the rise this season, helping Harras El-Hodoud to lead the Egyptian League after 11 weeks.

This may be the last season plays Abdel-Malek with the military team, as several reports have linked him to a possible move to Zamalek in January.

Ahmed Fathy

Ahmed Fathy

Unbeatable. Fathy has proven to be a key player for Ahly’s defence. The 27-year-old right-wing back is seen as one of the most consistent, battling and tireless players in Egyptian football.

Coach Manuel Jose relies on him to neutralise threats and also expects his contribution upfront providing the strikers with crosses or powerful shots.

Ahmed Hassan

Ahmed Hassan

At 36, Hassan is showing that he is still a major asset to any team he would join. Despite missing a big part of the action at the beginning of the year due to a knee injury, he made a strong return to finish the season with Ahly in style.

The Pharaohs skipper left Ahly after three successful seasons, joining arch-rivals Zamalek where he was paired with his mentor coach Hassan Shehata. In the face of claims that Hassan was aging and past his peak, he scored six goals so far to become the team’s top scorer and maintain them in the title race.

Vastly experienced and ever dynamic as he was in his twenties, Hassan is an iconic figure.

Ahmed Hegazy

Ahed Hegazy

Playing for the U-20, U-23 and recently in Egypt’s senior squad, Ahmed Hegazy has at 20 become one Egypt’s best defenders.

The Ismaily defender emerged as a great potential in 2009 playing for Egypt U-20 team in the World U-20 Cup held in Egypt when he was just 18.

He has been a regular starter for Ismaily throughout the year and provided them the strength they needed. Ismaily will soon have to do without him however, as the versatile defender has already signed a contract with Italian Fiorentina, moving in July.

Ahmed El-Shennawy

Ahmed El-Shennawy

The Youth goalkeeper delivered a string of fine performances throughout 2011, both with his team Masry and different Egyptian national teams.

The 20-year-old keeper was instrumental also in the Egypt-20 team which ended third at the African Championship and he played in great form in the FIFA -20 World Cup.

El-Shennawy played also a central role in Egypt’s qualification to play London 2012 Olympic Games, when he fiercely defended his nets during African London qualifiers helping the Egyptian team to end third and clinch the ticket for London after an absence at the Olympics of 20 years.

This performance was enough to convince Pharaohs' coach Bob Bradley to introduce El-Shennawy as his number one choice between the sticks against Brazil last November and it seems that he will keep his post.

Hosni Abd-Rabou

Hosni Abd-Rabou

After a long period out of action due to a knee injury and then spending the past couple of seasons on loan with Ahli Dubai, Abd-Rabou played for Ismaily in 2011 for only a short period.

The African Cup of Nations 2008 most valuable player immediately made an impact bringing experience to Ismaily’s midfield to push the team forward.

Abd-Rabou, 27, made a dream start to the season scoring seven of his team’s ten goals in eight matches. Fans have placed their hopes in Abd-Rabou that the team will make it to the title race.

Hossam Ghaly

Hossam Ghaly

The Ahly skipper played a key role in the Red Devils’ fight last season to clinch their seventh straight league title as well as in the team’s successful run this season.

The former Tottenham and Feyenoord player brought harmony and imagination to Ahly’s midfield.

The 30-year central midfielder has provided his forwards with assistance that has proved decisive. He also helped solve the team’s backline problem over the year playing as a sweeper or even a central defender, giving depth to the defence.

Mahmoud Abdel-Razek “Shikabala”


The Zamalek winger has been a source of inspiration for his teammates. He finished last season on top of the league scorers’ chart with 13 goals that helped Zamalek finish second in the Egyptian Premier League and reach the final of Egypt Cup.

The 25-year old gifted left-footed forward has entertained the fans with his dazzling tricks and neat footwork in addition to scoring some of the best goals of the year.

Skilful, quick and very creative, Shikabala is held back by distraction and lack of discipline that has perhaps hampered a career in Europe.

Shikabala is seen as one of the best players not only of this year, but of this.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah

A forward for the Arab Contractors, Salah is one of Egypt’s hottest prospects. He helped the Pharaohs claim third place in the African youth Championship and the African U-23 Championship to secure a spot in the 2012 Olympic Games for the first time in 20 years.

Salah exhibited impressive skills that left defenders trailing in his wake. The 20-year old player is fast, talented and is efficient on both flanks as he is good using both legs. However his accuracy on front of goal has yet to improve.

Egypt coach Bob Bradley is reportedly keeping a close eye on him and he could make his breakthrough to the senior squad very soon.


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