How Jose Mourinho Nearly Signed Egypt Legend Mohamed Aboutrika at Chelsea

How Jose Mourinho Nearly Signed Egypt Legend Mohamed Aboutrika at Chelsea

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:05 PM
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  • Jose Mourinho shed light on why he opted against signing Mohammed Aboutrika of Al Ahly fame, despite his immense quality
  • Mourinho travelled to Ghana in 2008 to watch former Egyptian striker, Mohamed Zidan at the 2008 AFCON, but Aboutrika's eye-catching performance caught his attention
  • The then-29-year-old Aboutrika inspired Egypt to the Africa Cup of Nations crown in 2008 - scoring four goals, including the winning goal in the finals

Renowned AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho disclosed his admiration for Mohamed Aboutrika and his intentions of securing the services of the Egyptian during his first stint with English side Chelsea.

The 59-year-old tactician is known for his affection for African players with notable names such as Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Mikel Obi and Samuel Eto'o, all working with the Portuguese.

However, the aforementioned A-list of African stars could have included legendary Egyptian footballer, Mohamed Aboutrika.

Jose Mourinho, Al Ahly, AFCON 2008, Chelsea, AS Roma, Mohammed Aboutrika
Jose Mourinho almost signed Mohammed Aboutrika during his first spell at Chelsea but made a U-turn due to the Egyptian's age. Photo credit: @AfricaNewsPress @ASRomaEN
Source: Twitter

According to Kingfut, Jose arrived in Ghana for the 2008 AFCON to scout for Dortmund star Mohammed Zidan but was thrilled by the performance of Aboutrika, who was in 'beast mood' during the tournament.

But the former Real Madrid and Manchester United manager opted to not sign the Al Ahly legend due to his old age at the time, as “El Magico” was 29 years old.

Asked if he was interested in signing Aboutrika, Mourinho replied: “Yes, this is somehow true.
“From our side, we have some questions regarding the calibre of some players and whether they will adapt or not,” Mourinho told beIN Sports.
“But of course, I pretty well know that he [Aboutrika] was very talented and everything was apparent to everyone through his achievements with Al Ahly and Egypt.
“Aboutrika had the advantage of strong physicality and technique, and definitely would have managed to adapt to European football.
“I am sure if he was active right now he undoubtedly wouldn’t remain in Egypt and would have played in Europe,” he added.

Mohamed Aboutrika blasts FIFA for failing to crack the whip on Israel

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that legendary Egypt international Mohamed Aboutrika has slammed the Federation of International Football (FIFA) for their failure to punish Israel after they banned Russia from participating in all football competitions.

FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russian teams after the International Olympic Committee banned all athletes from the European country following their military invasion of Ukraine.

However, three-time Africa Cup of Nations winner, Aboutrika, is not happy the same sanctions were not meted out to Israel after their military was involved in the 'killings of children and women in Palestine.'

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.
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