Arab players to watch out for in Russia
This summer’s World Cup in Russia will earmark the highest participation of Arab nations in the tournaments illustrious history. It comes as a welcome change for Arab football fans given that Algeria was the only Arab representative in Brazil in the last World Cup. It has also been over a decade since an Arab team won the AFC Asian Cup and 8 years since Egypt conquered Africa for the third time in a row. High time for some change in fortunes it would seem.
This summer’s tournament is steeped in hope and potential for those watching from their TV sets in Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Each of the four Arab football giants has stepped foot in the tournament more than once before and although realistically, chances of winning are slim, they are all more than capable of pulling off a surprise or two and upsetting stronger tournament favourites.
That being said, emerging talents and underrated players becoming stars is nothing new to World Cup history. Over the years we have seen the likes of El Hadji Diouf, James Rodriguez and Lukas Podolski rise to fame through impressive World Cup performances. No doubt that will be on the minds of most players this summer looking to impress top clubs and emulate those before them.
So who do we need to keep an eye on from the 4 Arab nations? Take a look at the names we think will shine this summer in Russia.
#1 Ramadan Sobhi - Egypt
The 21-year-old winger exudes talent and promise. However, his time at Stoke City hasn’t exactly set the world alight. A disappointing season that culminated with the relegation of the potters from the Premier League leaves Sobhi seeking pastures anew.
The World Cup provides the young star from Cairo with a platform to remind the world of his talent.
The man dubbed as ‘the new Aboutrika’ is unlikely to start for Egypt however he could prove to be a dangerous impact player to provide the Pharaohs with a different attacking option from the bench.