Tuesday Mar 31, 2020. 13:00
Egypt and Aston Villa wingback Ahmed Elmohamady says he plans to retire from playing while still in England.
The 32-year-old Pharaohs veteran has been based in the country for a decade, having left ENPPI to join Sunderland in 2010. He went on to play for Hull City from 2012 to 2017, before joining up with current club Villa.
“I’ve been here in England for a long time and I am looking to end my career here too, to be the first Egyptian player to finish their career in England,” Elmohamady told Villa’s official website.
“Aston Villa is one of the greatest clubs here in England and worldwide. The fans and atmosphere in Villa Park is awesome. I am pleased to be here and I’ve spent the best times of my 10 years in England with Villa.
“I remember my first day in England when I joined Sunderland, the first club I played for. It was a difficult beginning because I came to a different country, different culture and climate without my family and friends.
“But I got used to it well and enjoyed it. There were also some difficulties with language, but over time I learnt it. I’m proud of what I did, and I hope it will continue for years to come, as I think I’m the first Egyptian player to spend ten years here in England.”
Elmohamady played a key role in helping Villa return to the Premier League last year. His experience in England has seen him play both against and alongside some legendary names, and he picked out a current Real Madrid and former Chelsea player as his toughest opponent.
“Eden Hazard. He was one of the toughest and he is so talented. Also, Ashley Cole when he was in his prime at Chelsea,” the Egyptian explained.
“I’ve played with a lot of great players like John Terry and Jack Grealish. But for me Jack is the best because he is brilliant and can make the difference at any time.”