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Egypt’s Ahmed Elmohamady: ‘After all that’s happened, fans want to celebrate’

The Hull City wing-back was part of the side that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 and with a semi-final against Burkina Faso looming, hopes for more success are high after years of upheaval in Egypt coincided with the team’s fall from grace

It was the exuberance of a man who may as well have never been away. Ahmed Elmohamady had waited seven years between Africa Cup of Nations appearances and now, against the same opponents he had helped Egypt defeat in the 2010 final, came the chance to put on another show. Samuel Tetteh, the young Ghana forward, is no mug but was made to resemble one seven minutes in when Elmohamady, surging forward from right-back, nutmegged him near the touchline. André Ayew was a higher-profile victim of the same trick later on and when Elmohamady suggests “you can’t do anything except nutmeg sometimes” it is with a nonchalance that mirrors the move’s art.

Try it when you are 19th in the Premier League. In fact Elmohamady, for whom the nutmeg has been a longstanding signature move, probably would and there is certainly the need for some of Egypt’s élan to transfer itself to Hull City when their wing-back returns from Gabon. It is a strange situation for the player, preparing himself for Wednesday’s semi-final against Burkina Faso at the Egypt team hotel while the innuendo of transfer deadline day plays havoc – both real and imagined – with the makeup of his club side, but here in Libreville there is one priority.

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