The Ivory Coast legend believes Aboutrika could have succeeded in European football.
Didier Drogba is among the most successful African players to have ever played in Europe. During his unforgettable spells at Marseille, Chelsea, and Galatasaray, theIvory Coast
legend won several domestic and European trophies, establishing his reputation as one of the best African players of all time.
Despite the abundance of African stars that have broken through the European leagues, many observers believe the Black continent could have contributed more to world football if the route to Europe was not so treacherous.
In a new interview withMehwar TV
, Drogba has spoken about the formerAl Ahly
midfielder Mohamed Aboutreika.
“One player I would’ve loved to see in Europe and I believe he would’ve done fantastic in Europe is Aboutrika, he’s the African Zidane,”
“A lot of elegance, he reads the game and he’s a very smart player, there’s a few like this,
“He should’ve went if he had a chance to go to a big team. Because to go to Europe, for a player like this it’s more simple to play in the best teams because everybody understands each other. Players like him I believe would’ve been a success.”
Drogba went on to praise former Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary as another player who could have pursued a career in Europe.
“It was a surprise [that he didn’t play much in Europe], because in your team there was a lot of players that could’ve played in Europe. El-Hadary for me is a legend of the game, not only because he stopped my penalties and my headers off the line.
“You can see the way he plays doesn’t look like the modern goalkeeper. But the goalkeeper’s main job is to stop the goal and whatever he did worked.
“He did so much for the country and it’s a recognition of his achievement and his experience and talent [on being on the national team coaching staff].”
El-Hadary is currently working asEgypt
’s goalkeeping coach as they prepare for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. The Pharaohs will face Nigeria in their opening match of the campaign on January 11.
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