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Mido: The Egyptian Who Parts The English Channel For Mo Salah

Mido might be hugely associated with his 2-year stint at Tottenham Hotspur, where he scored 14 goals – a pretty terrible return for a top-flight striker. But on his heyday, nobody doubts the Egyptian’s talent.

Some people don’t even know where is Egypt in the world map until Mo Salah arrival in the premier league. Mido might not be the first Egyptian who graced the Premier League, but he did raise some eyebrows.

European adventure

The Egyptian first taste of European football came at the tender age of 17 when he moved to Gent from Zamalek. From homesickness to become fans favourite, his performance earned him a move to Ajax. Experiences in Holland in undoubtedly valuable & memorable for him, as he played alongside players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ajax is not the only top European club in Mido’s history book, he also went to Marseille & AS Roma. He doesn’t stick around for long in the capital of Italy because it is as not as sweet as it seems. Somehow he managed to force a move to England later to join Tottenham, a deal made possible by super agent Mino Raiola.

White Hart Lane quickly becoming his hunting ground, where he scored a total of 14 goals for them. Spurs and the Premier League gave him a recognition he deserved, and a breakthrough in the world best league.

Egyptian Mido continue to play in England later with Middlesbrough, Wigan, West Ham & Barnsley. He also returned to his former club Zamalek and Ajax at the end of his short career, as he claimed that he “fell out of love for football”.

International career

The forward record for his national team isn’t bad either. Notched 20 goals in 51 games for Egypt is quite impressive but winning the African Cup of Nation (AFCON) is much sweeter. A cup that Mo Salah haven’t win, yet.

Controversy occurred several times during his time with the Egypt national team. He once reacted badly after being substituted in the semifinal game of 2006 AFCON against Senegal. Besides that, the striker also refused to play for Egypt in 2005 as he claimed that he had picked up an injury. He featured for AS Roma 24 hours after he made that statement. Quite some lad this guy is.

Egypt’s coach Marco Tardelli lost his job in 2005, as a result of Mido’s bad boy antics. Furthermore, a brawl with his coach Hassan Shehata in 2006 AFCON caused him to be suspended for 6 months from playing for Egypt. Egypt FA eventually recalled him to play for the national team just after his suspension.

Recognition & awards

Ahmed Mido individual awards and trophies might not be mind-blowing but he already achieved enough as a football player. Mido had been named African Young Player of the Year in 2002. The previous year he received 2 awards as Egypt Young player of the Year & Belgian League Young Player of the Year.

During his time in the Netherlands is where he collected most of his trophies. 2 times Eredivisie title, 1 KNVB cup & 1 Johan Cruyff Cup. Mido also had a taste of victory with his national team, where Egypt won the 2006 AFCON at their home turf.

Life after football

It is normal for some footballer to stay out of shape after they finish their playing career. Mido was no exception, except it is affecting his health badly. Imagine a former football player, quickly turned into a Sumo wrestler.

Speaking to the Guardian, Mido shared; “I was 150kg and I reached a point where I couldn’t walk 30 yards. If I did, I started to feel pain in my back, my joints and my knees.”

“I remember I was getting off my boat in Egypt five months ago – this day is the turning point in my life – and I was walking off on to an island. I had three friends with me and it was 300 yards to the end of the island,” he added.

When the doctor said that he’s at the edge of being diabetic, and might die before he reaches 40, he knew he need change that horror fact. “The sand was a bit heavy and it was a bit sunny and I said to them: “I cannot walk.” I had to sit for 30 minutes. I was only 34. That was the moment the switch flicked.”

Mido turned things around, as he lost 37kg in 5 months and revealed it via his Twitter account. Way to go to set an example.

Mo Salah might be the new king of Egypt now, but the bricks to hold the Great Pyramid of Egypt already started during Mido’s era. A part of the cup winning generation of Egyptian football team back then, and the former Tottenham hitman acted as one of the pillars.

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