Monday,18 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1405, ( 9 - 15 August 2018)
Monday,18 February, 2019
Issue 1405, ( 9 - 15 August 2018)

Ahram Weekly

End of an era

Emad Meteb, the king of 90+ minute goals, has announced his retirement, reports Marawan Al-Shafei

Former Egypt international and Ahly striker Emad Meteb has decided to hang up his boots, bringing to an end an incredible football career.

The 35-year-old had just finished his six-month loan to Al-Taawoun FC in Saudi Arabia when he said he was calling it a day.

Despite his age, Meteb shocked football fans with his decision, which he announced live on TV to sport show host Ahmed Shobeir, a former Egypt goalkeeper. Meteb said “it was tough but I made the right decision by retiring”.

Meteb blamed his former coach at Ahly, Hossam Al-Badri, for his retirement. “He wasted two years of my football career. He kept me on the bench for almost two years and did not let me play regularly or leave to another club,” Meteb told Shobeir.
He also announced that he will be a part of the OnSport TV football analysis team and work as a football pundit.

Meteb ended his 15-year football career with 101 goals and 27 titles. He played for Ahly in Egypt, Etihad Jeddah and Al-Taawoun FC.

With Ahly Meteb won 11 Egyptian Premier Leagues, three Egypt Cups, and three Egypt Super Cups. He also helped Ahly to eight African titles -- four African Champions League, three African Super Cups and one African Confederations Cup.

He also won titles with the Egyptian national team. He was on the squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations three times in a row starting from 2006 in Egypt, 2008 in Ghana and 2010 in Angola. Meteb scored 28 goals in 61 appearances during his international career with the Pharaohs.

The king of 90+ minutes scored more than 10 goals during clutch time. No doubt, Meteb’s football career highlight was in November 2009 when he scored a 95-minute header against Algeria in Cairo Stadium in front of 100,000 spectators in the 2010 World Cup qualifications.

He also scored the winning goal against the Ivorian club Séwé Sport FC in the final of the African Confederation Cup in the 96th minute, making Ahly the first Egyptian club to win the championship.

Many observers and fans thought that Meteb, who saved his club and national team several times on many occasions, deserved to play more under Al-Badri but the coach only used Meteb as a substitute, never as a starter. He also did not give him enough minutes when coming off the bench. Meteb was only used at the tail end of games which notably affected his attacking form, pace and scoring abilities.
Many of Ahly’s big names were reportedly not trusted by Al-Badri in his three stints as manager. He also had well publicised clashes with the team’s stars, including Ahmed Hassan, Ahmed Belal and Sherif Ekrami.

Al-Badri, now chairman of the new team Pyramids FC, was apparently also the main reason why Hossam Ghali, Ahly’s former captain, announced his retirement as well at the end of last season.
Al-Badri reportedly never trusted Ghali to play a key role on the team, and was said to have asked Mahmoud Taher, the former president of Ahly, to send Ghali on loan.

Naturally, any coach should enjoy a strong personality and be decisive in order to win the respect of his players. However, it is just as important to have good relations and a strong line of communication with them.

This season Ahly lost two of its captains and big-time players, bringing the curtain down on a unique era. It will be hard to find another Ghali and Meteb since both players were not only superstars but genuine role models on and off the pitch. They stuck to their values and principles throughout their careers and were always loyal to Ahly’s colour red. They had an important impact on the Egyptian football industry. Even after their retirement, Ghali and Meteb will still have a special place in the hearts of loyal football fans.

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