Egypt's Hegazi joins Ittihad Jeddah squad for FIFA Club World Cup

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 23 Nov 2023

Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazi has made a remarkable recovery from a cruciate ligament injury and has been included in Ittihad Jeddah's primary squad for the highly anticipated 2023 FIFA Club World Cup.

File Photo: Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazi


Ittihad Jeddah has enlisted a 35-man squad for the tournament which features 10 foreign-based players, led by Hegazi.

The 32-year-old had been sidelined since last May due to his injury.

The opening match of Ittihad Jeddah's FIFA Club World Cup campaign is scheduled against New Zealand's Auckland City FC on 12 December.

The winner of that game will advance to face Egypt's Ahly in the second round of the tournament.

According to reports in Saudi media, Ittihad Jeddah's Manager Marcelo Gallardo closely monitors Hegazi's performance during training sessions to assess his readiness for the final squad.

"Hegazi is not only a team leader but also a brilliant player. Therefore, despite his cruciate ligament injury, the club decided to include him in the squad," stated Anmar Al-Haeli, chairman of Ittihad Jeddah, during a television programme.

Last June, the towering central defender underwent successful surgery on his left knee's cruciate ligament, which he injured on 27 May, causing him to miss the final round of the Saudi Professional League last season.

As a result, Hegazi has been absent from all of Ittihad's games since the start of the current season as he focused on his rehabilitation programme.

Since joining Ittihad from West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League in October 2020, Hegazi has become an indispensable part of the team.

Despite his defensive position, he has managed to score 10 goals and provide one assist in 80 appearances with the Saudi club.

Notably, Hegazi was listed among the top 11 players in the Saudi title for the 2022-2023 season, and his influential presence greatly contributed to Ittihad's league victory.

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