Al-Ahram Weekly Online   17 - 23 July 2003
Issue No. 647
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Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875
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Mido in Marseille

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Mido, centre, signs on the dotted line
EGYPTIAN international striker Ahmed Hossam, popularly known as Mido, has signed a five-year deal with Olympique Marseille of France worth 12 million euros.

The 20-year-old striker, who becomes Egypt's highest paid athlete ever, completed the move from Dutch Club Ajax Amsterdam in a signing ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Cairo on Sunday.

Mido said he was looking forward to playing for his new club. "I like pressure, I perform better under pressure. That's one of the reasons why I am joining Marseille," he told reporters.

Mido, who was loaned to Spanish side Celta Vigo earlier this year following disputes with Ajax coach Ronald Koeman, said he was glad to be leaving the Netherlands. "I am delighted to be coming to Marseille especially after all the problems I had with the Ajax coach," he said in comments on the club's Web site.

Mido helped Vigo qualify for the European Champions League with a decisive goal against Real Sociedad in a 3-2 win last month. Reports in the Dutch media said Celta wanted to sign him permanently but were put off by the estimated 10 million euro price tag.

Mido, who will wear No 9 on his jersey, is Maresille's third signing in the off season, following Czech midfielder Stepan Vachousek and Cote D'Ivoir's striker Didier Droigba as they build up for a Champions League campaign.

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