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News Article

Egyptian soccer passes flamboyant nickname tradition to next generation

The flamboyant and sometimes satirical naming of players was prominently employed by Badr Ragab, a youth coach at Egypt's most successful club Al-Ahly during the 1980s, as he handed out nicknames to his young squad.

"When I was a coach of the youth team at Al-Ahly, I decided to dish out nicknames to my players for a few reasons. I dreamt that they would become international stars and wanted to motivate them to work hard by emulating well-known footballers," he told AFP.

"The names are based on their resemblance to famous players as well as their skills. I gave Kareem Waleed the nickname Nedved because he resembled Pavel Nedved of Juventus and Mahmoud Hassan who had shades of David Trezeguet of the French national team," he added.

The Egyptian Trezeguet, 26, is with English side Aston Villa after stints in Belgium with Anderlecht and in Turkey with Kasimpasa, and has played 48 times for Egypt.

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