Hazem Mohamed EMAM

(Udinese)

Click for larger view (53 Kbytes)This is the story of a player who in his country,in Egypt,is rated as a sort of a national hero, whereas in the italian League just made a few appearances. Nevertheless Emam, 23 years old, midfielder with good technique and much brain, feels to be ready for the italian football. When he arrived in Italy someone hastily called him " the Baggio of Nile ". However there is no doubt about his talent and his bent for football. So far,Alberto Zaccheroni, coach of Udinese, hardly utilized him husbanding his forces, still considering him a little immature for a so-hard League as the italian one.

For now the clearest picture of his italian career comes from the 27th of October 1996, in Perugia, 7th week of the season, when, after 51 minutes of play, Emam replaced the brazilian starter Amoroso, but was himself replaced after only seven minutes, when a teammate was ejected, compelling Zaccheroni to modify again the team. Emam bursted into tears and covered his face with his jersey while leaving the field.

The same way of Ravanelli but with a totally different mood. "Little Fox" (his nickname in Egypt, since his father, a telecaster, and a former top-scorer of the national team, was called "Big Fox"), got his revenge this year during the Africa's Cup, leading Egypt to win over Southafrica in Burkina Faso.Coming back to their country the players were welcomed as national heroes and greeted by President Mubarak in person.Emam once moe time felt ready for a star role in the greatest stages of football.

He is a number one in Africa who wants to be succesful also in Europe, and who chose the hardest way to achieve his goal.For now,however, his endowments are well recognized and the success in the Africa's Cup,will allow him to find even new chances to emerge. With Udinese if possible .Otherwise somewhere else in Europe. This is Emam the egyptian who, in his country, counts as much as Roberto Baggio.

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