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Profile: Dr. Mahmoud Saad Mastermind of Football Future in Egypt

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EFA Technical Director Dr. Mahmoud Saad

Many followers of Egyptian football events may not recognize the name of the man
He is Dr. Mahmoud Saad, the former star of the Cairo giant, Zamalek SC, player and coach
Currently the Technical Director of Egyptian Football Association (EFA) , who has a specific mission… Which is to plan and build the future of Egyptian football, represented in junior age competitions and the creation of a valid system for picking talents in young age to be sponsored in the optimum way

So Dr. Saad did not lose time, from day one inside EFA, he worked on improving all elements of the game, starting with the coaches ..

Dr. Saad CAF Official Lecturer

Dr. Saad, who is the international lecturer at CAF, has many professional training courses to qualify the largest number of Egyptian trainers, and teach them the latest international training curriculams , and emphasize the transfer of the newest experiences to Egyptian coaches ..

Dr. Saad Supervising Practical Courses,

The thing that resulted in the domination of knowledge and experience on all coaches of competitions of football leagues in Egypt at different levels.

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It also was a direct reason for seeking the expertise of Egyptian coaches in many neighbor countries in Africa or in the Arab Gulf region .. The number that exceeded 250 Egyptian coaches working Currently abroad

As for the second element of the game, which is the players themselves .. Dr. Mahmoud Saad and his team had integrative plans for all the Egyptian junior national teams starting from the Egyptian U23 team Winners of AFCON U23 in the last version 2019 .. And until this year EFA started forming national teams that included young talents from 8 years up to 20 years

The Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports also relied on Dr. Saad in the implementation of its ambitious project, which was launched by the Egyptian Presidential Foundation itself, which aims to reach the number 1000 professional players abroad, and this is an affirmation of the Ministry’s confidence in the planning of the EFA technical director and also in support of the already existing plans that started to gain victories under the leadership of Dr. Mahmoud Saad

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Likewise, on the level of women’s football, which is the obvious weakness of Egyptian football .. Dr. Saad planned in both short and long terms to improve the game in Egypt and expand the base of practice .. The last of which was to import the Norwegian experience from Europe through intensive courses for Egyptian coaches to transfer experiences to Egyptian competitions of various ages and levels.

That was our documentary for the unknown hero of EFA, who is Mastermind for the plans and future of Egyptian football, Dr. Mahmoud Saad

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AFCON

AFCON U23 Qualifiers: 3 things To Retain from the U23 lion’s victory over Tunisia

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The indomitable U23 lions edged their Tunisian counterparts 1-0 in the first leg of the U23 AFCON qualifiers which will take place in Egypt.

The boys of Coach Rigobert Song had a difficult game and 3 things are to be taken home from this game.

1) The goal

An early goal at the 20th minute from Mpindi Victor who was at the conclusion of a beautiful game combination on the right wing masterminded by Ayuk Mbu Eric. The olympic lions had several other chances to widen the score line but Ganago and Soni Kevin where not in top form to convert chances into goals. The U23 lions are one goal up and a draw game in the return leg will qualify them for the U23 AFCON.

2) Outrage dominance of foreign based players in the lion’s den

Cameroon’s U23 initial team that began preparation ahead of this match was composed of local players and the coming of the foreign based players came in to completely change the physiognomy of the team. At kickoff, Omossola Simon, goalkeeper for Coton Sport of Garoua was the only local player in the starting 11. Only 6 local players managed to make fit in the list of 23 players selected for this game.

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Cameroon’s starting XI: Omossola Simon, Tchamba Duplex, Mbaizo Olivier, Kilama Guy, Honla Martin, Oum Gouet Samuel (captain), Nouhou Ntolo, Ayuk Mbu Eric, Mpindi Victor, Soni Kevin, Ganago Ignatius.

Even the substitutes Cheukoua Michel (2nd tier Austrian league) 58th min, Jean Jules Sepp Mvondo (3rd tier Spanish league) 75th min,  Ngan Herve (Greece second tier league)85th min, allcomel from the diaspora.  The fact that the Cameroonian local leagues haven’t kickoff is one of the factor which greatly reduced the chances of local players to figure in the list because of lack of competitions. Nevertheless, the time play statistics of some of the foreign based professionals called up for this game is a call for concern.

3) Game play

The indomitable lions of coach Rigobrt Song started the game with an ultra-offensive and dominant play style with ball conservation (70% ball possession) , multiple passes and showcase of technical knowhow. It’s thus natural that Victor Mpindi found the back of the net at the 20th minute. But as the game went on,, the lions became more individualistic than collective. The Tunisians who began the game timidly behind progressively came out and tried a number of distant shots with no effect on the Cameroonian goalkeeper who visibly didn’t have much to do in the first 45 minutes.

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Much more was expected from the Cameroonians during the second half but it was the Tunisians who partially take control of the game and  became more offensive with the entry of play of versatile winger Wajdi Sahli.

The Cameroonians showed signs of tiredness and were unable to combine properly up front.

At the blast of the final whistle by Congolese referee Fital Charel Just Kokolo, ball possession for Cameroon was reduced to 59% and both teams seemed visibly satisfied by the results.

afcon U23 qualfiers cameroon

The return leg game is scheduled for Tuesday 10th of September 2019 in Tunisia and the lions have already departed for Tunis in order to acclimatize themselves before match day.

 

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Editors pick

5 superstars who were expected to move this summer but didn’t

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The 2019 summer transfer window ended on 2nd September and many superstars like Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann made big-money moves during the window. However, several other superstars who were expected to join a new club stayed put for varied reasons. 

#5. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes racked up 32 goals and 18 assists in all competitions last season for Sporting in only 52 games and was named the Primeira Liga Player of the Year for a second successive season. He also helped Portugal win the UEFA Nations League and was named in the Team of the Tournament. 

The Portuguese international was linked with several top European clubs throughout the summer including Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and even Real Madrid. However, no move materialised and he has gone on to score two goals and assist four more for Sporting in only five games so far this season. 

In an interview with GQ Portugal, he revealed that Spurs made several proposals for him and it was his goal to play in England. However, the transfer didn’t go through because Spurs’ offer didn’t meet Sporting’s valuation but the player added that he respects his current employer’s decision. 

#4. James Rodriguez

Five years ago, Real Madrid signed James Rodriguez for a hefty fee after he won the Golden Boot at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He had a fantastic debut season for the Los Blancos under Carlo Ancelotti but after Zinedine Zidane took over, he was demoted to a squad player. 

The Colombian was loaned out to Bayern Munich in 2017 on a two-year loan deal with an option buy but the Bavarian club opted against signing him permanently even though he had two good seasons at the club. 

This summer, James was expected to be sold since Zidane didn’t fancy him before. The 28-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Napoli where Ancelotti is in charge but the Serie A club wanted to sign him on an initial loan deal with an option to buy. It is reported that Real Madrid only wanted to let him leave on a permanent deal and hence, Napoli dropped their interest in James and signed Hirving Lozano instead. 

There were also rumours linking him with a move to Atletico Madrid as well but in the end, James remains a Real Madrid player. It will be interesting to see how frequently he features for them this season.

#3. Leroy Sane

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Bayern Munich needed a big summer transfer window following the departures of players such as Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Mats Hummels and Rafinha. They signed Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard early in the window to address the defence but were in pursuit of a world-class winger to fill the void left by Robben and Ribery. 

Bayern’s first-choice target was Leroy Sane and it is reported that Manchester City turned down an offer in excess of €80 million. City’s asking price was proving to be a problem but Bayern were still confident of landing the player before the transfer window closed. However, Sane picked up a long-term injury during the Community Shield match and the Bavarian club pulled the plug on the transfer. 

The Bundesliga club still needed forwards and they signed both Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic on loan from Barcelona and Inter Milan respectively with an option to buy them permanently next summer. This is a smart move on Bayern’s part as it will still allow them to sign Sane in the future. 

#2. Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid in 2013 for a then world-record fee and he has since scored the winning goal in two Champions League finals and also scored in the shootout in a third final. 

The Welshman had a few injury problems at Real Madrid, but he has performed well when he’s fit. However, under Zidane, Bale was often left on the bench and towards the end of the 2018/19 season, it looked like the relationship between the manager and the player had turned sour. 

For most of the 2019 summer transfer window, it looked like Real Madrid were desperate to offload Bale and comments from the manager and the player’s camp suggested that it was only a matter of time before Bale’s adventures in Spain came to an end. However, on August 17, Zidane confirmed that Bale will stay. 

Bale has started all three of Real Madrid’s La Liga games so far and has scored two goals and assisted another. 

#1. Neymar

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Only two years ago, Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain for a club world-record fee. He has racked up 51 goals and 29 assists in only 58 games for the club but he missed the knockout stages of the Champions League in both seasons because of injuries. 

This summer, Neymar missed Brazil’s Copa America victory because of another injury and then, when he returned to PSG, he tried to force a move away from the club. 

It was reported that Barcelona was his preferred destination but there was reported interest from Real Madrid as well. The Catalan club could not afford to pay PSG’s asking price because they had already spent a lot of money to sign Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. So, instead, they proposed multiple offers involving cash plus players such as Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Ousmane Dembele and Jean-Clair Todibo. 

In the end, none of Barcelona’s proposals were acceptable for PSG and Neymar has been forced to stay at the club for at least four more months. 

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Editors pick

Cagliari president says ‘closing curvas isn’t the answer’ to racism as Verratti joins fight

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Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini discussed how he plans to tackle racism in the aftermath of the incident involving Romelu Lukaku.

Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini said “closing curvas isn’t the answer” to ending racism in Serie A after Inter star Romelu Lukaku was subjected to monkey chants last week.

Racism reared its ugly head again in Italy, where Lukaku was racially abused during Inter’s 2-1 win away to Cagliari at Sardegna Arena on Sunday.

The incident, which came as Lukaku stepped up to convert a second-half penalty, sparked widespread condemnation of Cagliari – whose fans were also previously involved in racist chants directed at Pescara’s Sulley Muntari (2017), Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi (2018) and former Juve forward Moise Kean (2019).

Inter’s Curva Nord supporters claimed alleged abuse of striker Lukaku from Cagliari fans was not racist but “a form of respect”.

Amid growing calls for Italian authorities to crack down on racism and Cagliari, Giulini told Radio Popolare: “We’re trying to work in a serious way, through the awareness of our stewards who will have to report people to DIGOS [a law enforcement agency].

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“It’s not easy to lipread with technology: we’ll also ask the decent fans for help, that is 99.9 per cent of Cagliari supporters.

“Fighting ignorance is difficult, so we can only raise awareness. This incident has caused huge anger and frustration in us for all the initiatives we’re carrying out. We were the first to introduce a school for young fans.

“Cagliari isn’t a racist city at all. I’m so sorry that this image of us has also gone abroad. I hope we aren’t banned. Closing curvas isn’t the answer: as I said before, stewards must be made aware.

“I won’t rule out, however, that any of my stewards saw something or a camera identified someone chanting. Once they’re recognised, these people could be denied entry if they try to re-enter the stadium.”

Former Pescara midfielder Marco Verratti – who now plays for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain – said games must be stopped for racism.

“You have to stop games because otherwise we won’t go anywhere,” the Italy international told Rai Sport.

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“I know it’s a big step to take, but we have to do it because otherwise those 4-5 stupid people will always be there.

“Lukaku’s appeal was right. It’s up to us players to show we can be role models for all ages. We carry great influence. If it starts with us, that’s a good thing.”

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