Tuesday,20 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1339, (6 - 12 April 2017)
Tuesday,20 November, 2018
Issue 1339, (6 - 12 April 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Egypt 25th most expensive team

Salah and Al-Nenni lead to the national football side’s relatively high price tag

Egyptian football team
Egyptian football team

The popular British newspaper The Telegraph published an interesting article a few days ago about the 30 most expensive international football teams in the world and Egypt was in 25th place. True, we’re not really that high in the rankings but we can still be proud of taking a place on the list given the names of the teams around us.

First, if you’re asking how they came up with the ranking, they added up the combined transfer fees of all the players of each squad to come up with a total value for each team. Of course the squads change over time but the article is more indicative than definitive. Taking you through the most interesting parts of the story you’ll want to know that in 30th place came Peru as the total value of their team is around £13.5 million which is extremely low because they’re ranked the 18th best team in the world.

In 29th place came Costa Rica as the total value of their team is £35 million thanks to Bryan Ruiz who accounts for nearly half that amount at £16.7 million. In 28th place came Slovakia at £40 million with former Liverpool star Martin Skrtl leading the way for his team with £14 million for all his transfers combined.

In 27th place is Iceland the minnows that stunned England in the 2016 Euros at £41 million with Swansea star Sigurdsson leading the way with more than half that amount at £22 million. In 26th place and the last team lower than Egypt surprisingly comes the United States at £58.5 million with Dempsey and Altidore leading the way at £15 million each. However, their rising star Pulisic might leave Dortmund this coming summer for a fee that could reach £40 million which would surely push his nation up in the list.

In 25th place comes Egypt at £59.5 million. The player with the highest contribution of that amount is Mohamed Salah of Roma who leads the way with a massive £33 million, with Mohamed Al-Nenni of Arsenal coming second with £11.5 million. The £33 million include all of Salah’s transfer fees combined since he was sold from the Arab Contractors to Basel until he signed to Roma, his current club.

In 10th place came Chile at £238 million with Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal leading the way at £62 million and £47 million respectively. Ninth came Uruguay at £262 million with star strikers Suarez and Cavani leading the way at £99 million and £73 million respectively. In eighth place come the European champions Portugal at £284 million with no one other than the current best player in the world Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way at £96 million.

In seventh place came Holland at £295 million with Arjen Robben leading the way at £70 million. Sixth place might come as a surprise to many as Real Madrid star James Rodriguez helped Colombia take a place among the elite thanks to his massive £109 million transfer fee followed by another superstar in the form of Falcao at £88 million with the total value of the Colombian team £321 million.

In fifth place came Germany at £332 million with Schurrle leading the way with £77 million followed by Draxler at £70 million and Ozil at £60 million. In fourth you’ll find another surprise team in the form of Belgium with a total value of £333 million with Manchester City star De Bruyne leading the way at £89 million followed by Benteke at £75 million.

In third place Euro finalists France comes with a total value of £380 million with the most expensive player in history, Pogba, leading the way at £90 million.

We move to the runners up Brazil with a total value of £386 million with no one other than Neymar leading the way with £74 million followed closely by Willian at £72 million.

The most expensive team in the world and which logically includes arguably the best player in the history of the game and who cost nothing in his entire career is Argentina. Lionel Messi never cost a penny because simple he never moved clubs which makes it baffling to see Argentina at the top of the list. However, Di Maria and Higuain played a major role in taking their nation top with £152 million and £120 million transfer fees for these two stars respectively.

Having been put on the big leagues list, Egypt faced Togo in a friendly game this week at Borg El Arab Stadium in Egypt and won comprehensively 3-0 thanks to an excellent second half performance that witnessed all three goals. The goals came through man of the moment Mahmoud Kahraba who had just scored the winning goal for his team in the Saudi Cup final to win the title. The second goal came from Ahmed Al-Sheikh who is set to return next season from his loan spell at Maqasa to his club Ahly. The third and final goal came from Arsenal’s star Al-Nenni in the final minutes of the game to seal the victory against Adebayor and his team.

Egypt’s Argentinian coach Hector Cuper handed starts to Wigan’s Sam Morsi and Viborg’s Alexander Jakobsen or Amir Adel as they call him in Egypt. Cuper wanted to see some new faces after the Africa Cup of Nations to decide if he’ll make any changes in the future. Morsi had a great first half as he defended extremely well and dictated the game well from the middle of the park and seemed very comfortable despite making only his fourth appearance with the national side.

Adel’s debut wasn’t spectacular but wasn’t bad either even though he did not get many chances to show what he can do which is understandable given that he met his teammates for the first time ever a week before the game. The first half did not witness many chances for any team as it ended goalless but the second half was completely different as the substitutions had their say in the game.

Kahraba’s persistence paid off as he stole the ball from the last defender and slotted it home in style in the far corner to open the scoring before another substitute, Al-Sheikh, added the second on his debut after his brilliant cross evaded everyone and found its way in the far corner much to the delight of the player who is having an unbelievable season with his team and is currently the top scorer of the league.

The third goal came from a familiar face in the form of Al-Nenni who received a long ball at the edge of the box and managed to score with aplomb after losing the ball for a second when the keeper attempted to clear it away.

Cuper said he was pleased with the result but vowed to play better in the future and expressed his satisfaction with the performance of the newcomers and asked they be given time to settle with their new teammates.

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