Monday,11 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1261, (3 - 9 September 2015)
Monday,11 December, 2017
Issue 1261, (3 - 9 September 2015)

Ahram Weekly

The flying five

Salah is up against Messi in the Champions League while Hegazi and Al-Nenni face off in the Europa League, reports Marawan Zayed

Al-Nenni
Al-Nenni
Al-Ahram Weekly

The draw of the Champions League had some exciting news for our Egyptian star Mohamed Salah as Roma were placed alongside Barcelona in the group which means that Salah will come up against arguably the best player in the history of the game, Lionel Messi.

 The other two teams in the group are Germany’s Leverkusen and Belarusian champions Bate. Roma and Salah will probably have to overcome Leverkusen to make it to the next round as the German club should and will be their main rival for the second qualifying place in the group after the Spanish champions.
 
Salah will surely relish coming up against Messi and co at the Camp Nou especially that shining in a game like this would mean the world to any player in the world let alone Salah who was playing in the Egyptian league just a few years ago.
 
Leverkusen knocked fellow Italian team Lazio from the final qualifying round of the Champions League 3-1 on aggregate which means that Roma will have to be at their very best to get through to the next round.
 
Salah is Egypt’s only representative in the Champions League while we have four stars playing in the Europa League in the form of Mahmoud Trezeguet, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Al-Nenni and Braga’s new signing Ahmed Hassan Kouka who came close to joining Benfica at the start of the season before failing the medical. The highlight of the Europa League for Egyptian fans will be seeing two stars coming up against each other. Fiorentina and Basel were drawn in the same group alongside Lech and Belenenses. Both teams are expected to qualify given their superiority compared to the other two names in the group. However, it remains to be seen if Egyptian fans will really see Hegazi and Al-Nenni take the field against each other as Hegazi’s situation at Florence is a bit complicated. Italian and Egyptian reports indicate he might leave the club before the end of the transfer window. The transfer window will close in a few days anyways so Hegazi will know if he’s staying or leaving before then for sure.  
 
As for Al-Nenni he’ll surely be one of the key players for Basel yet again this season.
 
Anderlecht’s new signing Trezeguet will rue his luck as his team was drawn in the group of death alongside Tottenham, Monaco and Qarabag. Tottenham and Monaco will be the favourites to qualify to the next round as both teams have bigger and more experienced stars but heavyweight Anderlecht can surely still pip any of them to a place in the next round. So let’s hope Trezeguet will have a say in this group.
 
Last but not least is Ahmed Hassan Kouka who’ll finally be playing in Europe with Portugal’s Braga which will come up against Marseille, Liberec and Groningen. Marseille will probably top the group while the other three teams will fight it out for the other qualifying place. Egyptian fans will hope that Kouka’s goals will guide his team to the following round.
 
The chances are extremely high that all five Egyptian stars playing in Europe will qualify to the next round because their groups are not that strong apart from Anderlecht’s.  Salah will be the talk of Egyptian fans in the next few months as they’ll be anticipating what he will do against Barcelona and Messi in specific let alone the fact that he’s finally playing in the Champions League after seeing little action in the competition during his time at Chelsea.

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