Friday 30 October 2020
Mohamed El-Nani, the star of Arsenal and the Egyptian national team, commemorated an important memory for Egyptians in European stadiums, dating back to 1992 when Magdy students of the Greek PAOK star assumed the leadership badge for his team for the first time in any European championship.
Al-Nene wore the captaincy of Arsenal in the 74th minute in his match against Irish Dundalk in the second round of the second group of the European League “Europaleg”, which ended in favor of the Gunners by 3-0.
Al-Nani was not the first Egyptian to carry the leadership badge in one of the UEFA tournaments, but one of the most important Egyptian professionals at the beginning of the professional era, Magdy Tolba, who left in 1989 from Zamalek to work in the Greek PAOK.
Coincidentally, Magdy Tolba was led to professionalism in PAOK, where Zamalek was camping in Greece at the beginning of the 1989-1990 season, and the midfielder left the White’s accounts to borrow him from PAOK, who was training in a stadium next to Zamalek training. To steal the spotlight and move to the Greek giant, to be called afterwards as the Egyptian “magician”.
Students with PAOK lasted two seasons. Then there comes an event that was not considered, according to what the Egyptian star told Masrawy, commenting on the event that Al-Nini opened again.
Students said: “I spent two seasons in PAOK. The idea of reaching the leadership of the team was out of my calculations from the ground up. It did not come to my mind, until my colleagues paved the way for me and was able to obtain it.”
The students explained, “Obtaining the badge in PAOK was by election and not by the seniority system used in Egypt. Whoever found himself qualified to carry the badge would apply.”
And he continued: “This position in particular has responsibilities other than leadership on the field and representing the team. One of the most important tasks of the team was to communicate with the management directly, to represent the voice of the players and present the demands. It served as a link between the team and the management.”
It took students only 6 months to deal in the Greek language, and after a year, he mastered it completely, which contributed to building a strong relationship with his colleagues. The support of the team and their confidence in my abilities off the field.
Students of the first match he wore the badge remember: “The match against Paris Saint-Germain, led by the Liberian striker, was the best in Europe, followed by George Weah in the European Cup.”
And he continued, “The first captain was injured and the second captain got two warnings, and therefore I got the badge and then continued with me in some local tournaments.”
He ended: “Happy with the time I spent in PAOK and the confidence in the Egyptian professional players in Europe, which qualified some of them to get the badge.”