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Benfica and Porto fans pursue me to ask for my shirt: Egypt’s Ghazal

Egypt international defender Ali Ghazal says he is appreciated in Portugal unlike Egypt where he receives no attention

Ahram Online , Sunday 29 Mar 2015
Nacional de Madeira Egyptian defender Ali Ghazal
Nacional de Madeira Egyptian defender Ali Ghazal
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Egypt international Ali Ghazal claims fans of Portugal giants Benfica and Porto pursue him to ask for his shirt, while lamenting the lack of attention he receives in his homeland.  

Nacional Madeira center-half Ghazal was part of the Egypt squad under former boss Shawki Gharib before being snubbed by the management following some below-par displays.   

And after being similarly shunned by new boss Hector Cuper, who guided Egypt to a 2-0 friendly home win over Equatorial Guinea in his first game in charge a few days ago, the 22-year-old looked dismayed with the lack of attention he receives from his country.

"I'm really saddened by the way I'm being treated in Egypt unlike Portugal," Ghazal said in a telephone phone-in to Al-Hayat TV channel.

 "In Portugal, fans of giant clubs as Porto and Benfica pursue me to ask for my shirt, but in Egypt no-one cares at all."

In a different context, Ghazal - who kicked off his overseas career by joining Madeira from Wadi Degla in January 2013 - denied rumours linking him with Lazio, while maintaining the Serie A side are keeping tabs on him.

"There has been no official approach from Lazio up until now, but they are currently keeping tabs on me."

Ghazal was called up by Gharib during Egypt's dismal 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign in the opening defeats to Senegal and Tunisia last year.

His lackluster displays at the heart of defence have been largely blamed for the goals Egypt conceded in the 2-0 defeat at Senegal and the 1-0 home loss to Tunisia.

Despite playing 90 minutes in the two opening games, Ghazal has struggled to make the Egypt squad ever since as he seems to have fallen out of favour with the management.

Ghazal's status, meanwhile, has been in stark contrast in Portugal, where he is a regular for mid-table side Madeira having played full 90 minutes in 19 league games so far this season.   

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

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