Mido: Games that changed my life – "There was a lot of criticism when I became Egypt's youngest ever player..."

Mido, Tottenham
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mido clocked up more than 200 club appearances during a 14-year career as a striker which saw him play for Ajax, Roma, Marseille, Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Wigan, West Ham and Barnsley, among others. In 2006, he was part of the Egypt side that won the Africa Cup of Nations.

Here's he tells FourFourTwo about the matches that changed his life...

Egypt 2 UAE 1 (January 6, 2001, Friendly)

“My first game for the Egyptian national team against the United Arab Emirates is one of the matches I will never forget. I was young, not even 18, and I became the youngest player in the history of the national team. Egypt coach Mahmoud El-Gohary received a lot of criticism for playing me at such a young age, ahead of more experienced players. There was criticism directed towards me as well – the public had their doubts – but despite that I scored on my debut and we won.”

Inter 0 Marseille 1 (April 14, 2004, UEFA Cup)

“This Inter match was the second leg of our UEFA Cup quarter-final. It was a really important game with a lot of pressure on it. We had won the first leg 1-0 at home, and I played 90 minutes in that second leg at the San Siro. I was playing against amazing players such as Fabio Cannavaro, Ivan Cordoba and Javier Zanetti, and Marseille managed to win 1-0 again. We reached the final that season, but lost 2-0 to Valencia.”

Tottenham 3 Portsmouth 1 (February 5, 2005, Premier League)

“My first match for Tottenham Hotspur was so special. I hadn’t been playing consistently at Roma and, if I remember correctly, my debut came just three or four days after I’d arrived in England. I scored twice and we won the game.”

Egypt 3 Libya 0 (January 20, 2006, Africa Cup of Nations)

“The opening game was an important one, particularly as the tournament was in Egypt. There’d been lots of criticism of the team and there was pressure on the coach, Hassan Shehata. It was a big responsibility to carry the team home, but I scored the first goal of the finals and we then won the competition.”

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Mido played as a striker during his career, which featured stints at Ajax, Roma, Marseille, Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Wigan, West Ham and Barnsley. In 2001, he became Egypt's youngest ever player at the age of 17, and was part of the team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006. Since retiring, he has worked as a manager, coaching various teams in Egypt.