Haytham Farouk - Egypt Today
CAIRO- 19 June 2017: Haytham Farouk former Egyptian National Football Team and first player from Egypt to play for Feyenoord spoke to Egypt Today about his journey in Feyenoord.
He also spoke about chances of Al-Ahly and Zamalek in the CAF African Champions League, his opinion on Hector Cuper, and whether or not he thinks Egypt will qualify for the upcoming World Cup.
Speaking about his journey in Feyenoord, Farouk said:
“It was a very important journey and it was difficult at the same time. This is due to two things. Firstly, most Egyptian players who played abroad went due to their participation with the Egyptian National Team. Secondly, they went to play in leagues that were not top like Belgium and Switzerland. Even if they went to play in the top leagues, they didn’t participate regularly with their teams. However, for me I played in one of the top leagues, which is ranked today 8th or 9th in Europe. Also, I played in one of the big clubs in the Dutch league.”
“However, for me I went and took the journey from the beginning. I went there and did a trial and I succeeded. I didn’t go through the Egyptian National Team. During the time I went, the Egyptian National Team was in the African Cup of Nations in Johannesburg in 1996.”
On his stance from Feyenoord, Farouk stated, “Feyenoord is a big name and it is the first club from Netherlands to take a European tournament, the first club from Netherlands to take the Intercontinental Cup, the first club to take the UEFA, they are also the current Dutch league winners, and they are the last club from the Netherlands to win the Europa League in 2002 against Borussia Dortmund.
Farouk also discussed the positive impact of playing abroad and the difference between playing in Egypt and playing in Europe.
“Playing abroad changes the way a player communicates with others and makes him more disciplined. For example in Egypt players can come 30 minutes before the training. While in Europe, some players arrive two hours before the training. Also in Egypt some players are accustomed to not put their maximum in the training and get selected in the lineup for the match. However, in Europe you have to put your maximum in the training in order to play in the match.”
Farouk then moved to discuss the chances of both Al-Ahly and Zamalek Sporting Clubs in this season’s African Champions League.
“I think it is difficult; both Al-Ahly and Zamalek made a draw in Egypt and you cannot even say the tournament has entered its advanced stages yet, the tournament will become even more difficult from the quarter finals. I hope that one the two clubs wins the tournament, if one of them wins, they will go to play the Club World Cup tournament in Abu Dhabi where they will find all the support. They will have the opportunity to play under the support of their fans in the Club World Cup. It will be even better than playing in Egypt, because in Egypt there are no fans.”
The retired Egyptian National Team player spoke about whether or not Hector Cuper should continue with the team, he said, “Definitely he has to continue. I was one of the people who supported Cuper since his arrival. However, the last match against Tunisia our performance was very weak. We didn’t score or even put the Tunisian goalkeeper under pressure during the match. We didn’t have any attacking role in the game. I think there should be a quick evaluation especially that the Egyptian National team shirt is not for everyone to wear.”
Finally, Zamalek’s former player, Farouk told Egypt Today about his opinion on Egypt’s chances in qualifying to the next world cup.
“I am concerned about this issue because the players are very tired and the Arab Club Championship tournament is in a very bad timing. I hope that everybody in the Egyptian National team works hard in order to see the Egyptian flag in Russia 2018.
Farouk is now one of the leading experts who analyze football matches.