Who are the best Egyptian footballers of 2021? Well, if you’re a football fan, you should probably think that one of them is for sure Mohamed Salah. Yes! You’re right, but Mohamed Salah is not the only one. There are more to this list.
Well, before anything else we should say that some of the footballers on the list are also among richest footballers in Egypt - that’s no surprise indeed - or among best Egyptian football players of all time or among Egyptian players in Premier League. We mean those who have played or are currently playing in the major English league.
And please note that by 2021 we mean the 2021 calendar year not the 2020-21 season. Two top Egyptian footballers, namely Ahmed Elmohamady and Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan mostly known as Trezeguet, should be on the list of best Egyptian footballers of 2021, too, but since they were sidelined for almost half of 2021 due to injury, their performance couldn’t be assessed and therefore they don’t have a place on the list, however, that doesn’t mean they are lesser footballers compared to those on the list at all. To your surprise, both of them are among
Egyptian players in Premier League
which is, for sure, a token for their professionalism, and don’t forget that while Elmohamady is among best Egyptian football players of all time, Trezeguet has been considered as one of the best Egyptian talents to have come across.
Let’s see who the best Egyptian footballers of 2021 are. One of them, as we already mentioned, is Mohamed Salah, but he’s not the only one.
richest footballers in Egypt
with a net worth of $4.5 million, Mohamed El Shenawy is a 33-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper who’s been serving the top Egyptian club, Al Ahly, since 2016. From 2017 to 2021, El Shenawy earned the highest number of clean sheets in the Egyptian Premier League with 14, 13, 24, and 12 clean sheets that he earned in 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 seasons, respectively. And his overall stats concerning the number of clean sheets? Well, currently he’s the fourth Egyptian goalkeeper with the most number of clean sheets with the 107 clean sheets he has earned which may increase in the future providing him with a better position on the list of Egyptian goalkeepers with the most number of clean sheets - indeed within the Egyptian Premier League.
El Shenawy is also considered as one of the best goalkeepers in Africa and Egypt’s best goalkeeper by his parent club,Al Ahly
. In fact, he’s Egypt’s best goalkeeper by now and you can infer that by the number of clean sheets he has earned with the Egyptian national team: 14 in 29 appearances which means almost one clean sheet in every two appearances averagely, though he has also conceded 19 goals - 1.13 goals in every two appearances. El Shenawy has only been beaten 3 times in a match twice since the start of his international career in 2018: Once against Russia and in 2018 World Cup group stage where Egypt lost the game 3-1 to the World Cup hosts, and another time in an international friendly against Belgium in the same year that ended in Egypt’s 3-0 loss.
As you see against African teams, even the good ones likeNigeria
or Cameroon, El Shenawy hasn’t shamed his team by conceding more than 2 goals which could be considered as a point of strength in him. And in his 326 club appearances up to this date (January 2022), the 33-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper has managed to collect 273 clean sheets - a little more than four clean sheets in every five matches - and has conceded 148 goals which translates to almost one goal (exactly 0.9) in every two appearances.
is not among the Egyptian players in Premier League - we mean currently in the Premier League, he has the experience of playing in the major English league for 2 seasons, actually the 2017-18 and 2020-21 seasons, where he served the English club, West Bromwich Albion. In fact, he served them from 2017 to 2021 but the club was relegated to the Championship (the second tier of English football league system) and played there in 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Hegazy was also part of the Serie A club, Fiorentina, for three seasons between 2012 and 2015 but he actually made only 3 appearances for them during this time that was partly due to the injuries he sustained.
Primarily a center back, Ahmed Hegazy has also served as a full back, and due to the fact that his playstyle resembles that of the top former Italian defender, Alessandro Nesta, they call him “the Nesta of the Pyramids”. Based on reports, Hegazy has actually been an integral part of the West Brom’s defense line since he has joined them in 2017 and even a big helping hand for their promotion back to the Premier League. Due to his height and physicality, the 28-year-old Egyptian defender has a tendency to dominate his opponents especially in the air. They say Aston Villa has an eye for him but there is doubt if they actually step in to snatch him away from the Baggies since not all his attributes fit into Villa’s defense line.
Ahmed Sayed, commonly known as Zizo, is a 25-year-old Egyptian midfielder who has the experience of playing in the Belgian Pro League and the Portuguese Primeira Liga and forLierse
and Moreirense clubs, respectively, despite his young age. He has made a total of 100 appearances for these clubs and has scored 5 goals for them, and since 2018 he’s been serving the top Egyptian club, Zamalek. His goalscoring records with Zamalek, however, are better: He has scored 21 goals in 112 appearances for the Egyptian club to this date (January 2022).
During the three years Zizo has been serving Zamalek, he has won 5 club trophies with them including an Egyptian Premier League title in 2020-21 season. Zizo is actually an integral part of the Zamalek first team and maybe that’s why he once said he wanted to stay with the club up until the end of his career: “Zamalek has played a major role in helping me have a successful career, and I hope to stay here until I retire.” And not only in Zamalek but also in the Egyptian national team the 25-year-old Egyptian midfielder has a crucial role.
Another midfielder on the list of
best Egyptian footballers of 2021
, Mohamed Magdy is a 25-year-old Egyptian midfielder just like Ahmed Sayed, but he has served only Egyptian clubs since the start of his career in 2013. He’s been with Al Ahly since 2019 and up until this date has made 93 appearances and has scored 18 goals for them. And from the start of his career to this date indeed, Magdy has scored a total of 39 goals in his overall 215 appearances; he has also provided 47 assists and has received 9 yellow cards but no red card.
Having established himself as one of the best Egyptian playmakers, Mohamed Magdy as his agent says has received offers from top Scottish and Turkish clubs, Celtic, Galatasaray, andBesiktas
. Magdy’s contract with Al Ahly expires in 2024 and there has been no talk of extending it yet. It seems Celtic are preparing themselves to take Magdy away from Al Ahly by this summer and if this happens, he will be the first Egyptian footballer ever to have served the Scottish club.
Here comes the first forward on the list of best Egyptian footballers of 2021:Mohamed Sherif
. He’s also 25 years old and has been serving Al Ahly since 2018. He has scored a total of 32 goals in 60 appearances for the Egyptian club which translates to a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.06) in every two appearances. In 2020-21 season, he actually made 31 appearances and scored 21 goals for Al Ahly which is his highest in a single season up to this point in his career. He has also served the Egyptian national team since 2019 making 4 appearances and scoring 4 goals for them in the process.
It should also be mentioned here that with the 21 goals Sherif scored for Al Ahly in 2020-21 season, he actually became the Egyptian Premier League top scorer in that season. He also became CAF Champions League top scorer in the same season with 6 goals. Sherif describes his role as being a winger at first changing later to a striker as he was asked to act as one which was actually what drove him to learn the skills of a striker and become one and indeed a good one to finish as the Egyptian Premier League top scorer in 2020-21 season.
You can call him a young talent since he’s only 22 years old and blooming. Marmoush is a product of the Egyptian club,Wadi Degla
, and has played as a senior player for them only for one season - actually 2016-17 season. Since then he’s been serving the Bundesliga club, VfL Wolfsburg, and just recently in 2021 he was on loan to two other German clubs, namely FC St. Pauli and VfB Stuttgart. His goalscoring records up to this date (Jaunary 2022) if not good, are not too bad either. He has scored a total of 21 goals in 85 appearances up until now which translates to almost one goal in every 4 appearances averagely.
Marmoush is on the Egyptian squad for the coming 2021 African Cup of Nations, although he might not be on the first team. In offense, as they say, Marmoush often prefers wide spaces and he’s also good in shooting from around the box. As the Egyptian analyst, Hassan Beltagy, says, Marmoush played first as a winger when with VfL Wolfsburg but later was moved into the striker position and acted as a forward. In Beltagy’s opinion, Marmoush is a skilled player and a good dribbler but lacks Mohamed Salah’s pace in forward runs. His playstyle resembles the most those of the Liverpool and Real Madrid stars, Roberto Firmino and Karim Benzema.
Another forward on the list of best Egyptian footballers of 2021,Mostafa Mohamed
is a 24-year-old Egyptian footballer who’s been serving the top Turkish club, Galatasaray, since the start of 2021. He’s actually a product of the Egyptian club, Zamalek, and also has served them for 5 years between 2016 and 2021. Mohamed is not a prolific goalscorer but is near to; we mean if he puts more effort into his goalscoring, he could be one in the future. By now (January 2022), he has scored a total of 57 goals in his 162 appearances which translates to a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.05) in every 3 appearances.
Mohamed is actually the first Egyptian footballer ever to have served Galatasaray. He was loaned at first to the Turkish club for a transfer fee of $2 million, and after scoring 8 goals in his 16 appearances for them, the club decided that he should stay and signed a four-year contract with him up until 2025. They say the 24-year-old Egyptian forward has a good sense of anticipation how an offensive will develop, so, based on that, he positions himself on the right place and in the right time, say, anywhere in the penalty area. He has also a good sense of how defenders position themselves so he can find some space for his link-up play supporting the offensive.
For sure, one of the best Egyptian footballers of 2021 and if not among the
best Egyptian football players of all time
, he’s famous enough to be among the most famous ones. Sobhi is a product of Al Ahly and plays as a winger. He served the Egyptian club for two years between 2014 and 2016 and later tried his chance at the Championship clubs, Stoke City and Huddersfield Town, but that didn’t last long as he was loaned to his previous club, Al Ahly, for the two last years he was at Huddersfield Town, and then returned home to serve another of his home-country clubs, Pyramids - he’s been serving the club since 2020.
In playstyle,Ramadan Sobhi
is often compared to one of Egypt’s most technical footballers ever, Mohamed Abo Treka. One of his capabilities is making deep runs to distract defenders and draw them out of their positions thus creating more space for his teammates to develop an offensive, however, as they say, what actually brought him into spotlight while still in the Egyptian Premier League, was his dribbling abilities especially in the final third that when combined with his agility enables him to perform well even in tight spaces. And being an agile player doesn’t mean he rushes his decisions; on the contrary, he’s calm and composed on the ball often making the right decision, and without the ball, he turns into a defender vying to repossess the ball. Ramadan has been playing for the Egyptian national team since 2015 making 32 appearances and scoring 2 goals for them in the process - actually up until this date (January 2022).
Not only one of the best Egyptian footballers of 2021 but also often considered as one of the best Egyptian football players of all time,Mohamed Elneny
is a 29-year-old Egyptian defensive midfielder who’s been serving the top Premier League club, Arsenal, since 2016. He’s a defensive midfielder so don’t expect him to have scored so many goals, however, the fact that he’s the first Egyptian footballer ever to have served the Gunners and he’s not been a passive player at the club - he actually became Arsenal's Player of the Month in two consecutive months of March and April 2016, makes him a big name in the history of the Egyptian football.
About Elneny’s playstyle or the importance of his role at Arsenal, maybe the best reference is what the former Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wegner, believed about him. In Wegner’s belief, Elneny was a strong and active player with a modern style of play who always tried to do his best of his team; he was a tactical player who always was helpful in his team’s build-ups plus that at the same time he added a layer of protection to the Gunner’s defense line.
And finally one of the biggest footballers Egypt has produced who is also among the richest footballers in Egypt; actually the richest one with a net worth of $70 Million: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s 29-year-old forward who has managed to score 148 goals in his 229 appearances - 3.2 goals in every 5 appearances averagely, for the Premier League club up to this date (January 2022) making Liverpool fans say if he scores a few more goals for Liverpool, they will convert to his religion: Islam! That is how Salah has affected Liverpool fans, and not only them but also his Egyptian fans who call him the Egyptian Messi.
Salah is actually the highest decorated footballer on the list of
best Egyptian footballers of 2021
with a few club trophies but a number of individual awards to his name including a Golden Foot award in 2021, two Premier League Golden Boots in 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons and CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year in 2012. Other than that, Salah has registered some records - actually more than 20 - some of which are Liverpool-related like most goals scored in the first 100 appearances for Liverpool in the club’s history (69 goals) and the highest scorer for Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League (33 goals).
As one of his records mentioned above suggests, Salah is a pacey footballer. In fact, that is one of his most prominent features but not all that has made him what he is today. He’s also an agile player with great ball control and clinical finishing who not only is good in scoring but also in creating scoring opportunities for his teammates. Salah’s preferred foot is left and he has scored most of his goals with his left foot. That’s why defenders always try to force him to that weaker side of him and that’s surprising how he finds a way to get in a position to shoot with his preferred foot. He actually does it through the quick movement of the ball from one side to the other and he’s skilled enough to shoot with little time or space at hand. In one word, defenders may know what Salah wants to do but most of the times they fail to stop him.
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