Egypt’s defender Ahmed Elmohamady says he is proud of his 10-year milestone in England, insisting that he hopes he would become the first Egyptian player to hang up his boots while playing in England.
“I remember my first day here in England. Sunderland was my first club here,” the Aston Villa fullback said in a video posted on his club’s official website on Sunday.
“It was a difficult moment as I came from a different country with a different culture, customs and climate. Also, the absence of my family and friends and the language barrier made the mission more difficult,” he added.
Back in 2010, the 32-year-old fullback started his professional career in England after joining Premier League side Sunderland on loan from Egyptian side Enppi before turning the deal into a permanent one in 2011.
“I overcame all these obstacles with time. I am proud of what I achieved here and I hope to continue playing here for other four or five years. I became the first Egyptian player to play 10 years in England,” explained the international player, who won the African Cup of Nations title with the Pharaohs twice in 2008 and 2010.
In 2012, Elmohamady left Sunderland to join Hull City on loan before joining the Tigers permanently a year later. He spent four years with Hull before signing for Aston Villa in the summer of 2017.
“Last year was a big experience for me. It was a crucial moment when we assured the promotion of Aston Villa to the Premiere League. The Championship play-off match at Wembley Stadium was one of the best days of my life after ensuring rejoining the best league in the world with a big club,” said Elmohamady, who made 12 league appearances with Aston Villa so far this season.
“My ambition is to end my career in England to become the first ever Egyptian player to retire there.
“Seeing Egyptian players playing here in England like Liverpool’s winger Mohamed Salah, Aston Villa’s Mahmoud Trezeguet and West Bromwich Albion’s defender Ahmed Hegazi is a positive thing for Egyptian football and for the national team.
“Commitment is the secret behind success and the development of any player,” he said.
In August 2019, Elmohamady extended his stay with Aston Villa for one more season.
Elmohamady is the Egyptian player to participate most in Premier League games, with 177 matches.
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