23 January, 2008

Obscure African of the Week

STT has been slightly skeptical about the African Cup of Nations, viewing it with the suspicion reserved for American lager and supermarket brand baked beans. It is very different to European league football, as players are encouraged to shoot the second they get in the opposition half, but before they get anywhere near the 18 yard box. The reliance on hard tackling has led to some pretty staccato games, with refs stopping the action every minute. Still, it's quite tempting to watch, with a number of players from the Premier League and Championship attending, demonstrated by the Ivory Coast vs. Nigeria game earlier this week, which seemed like Arsenal vs. Portsmouth, with a dash of Watford, Chelsea and Newcastle thrown in. Other games have alerted the horde of scouts to certain player's potential. And here is the first:

Name - Mohamed Zidan

Affiliation - Hamburg and Egypt

Reason for Coolness - Much like Wagner Love, previously one of our Obscure South Americans of the Week, Zidan has a pretty good line in haircuts. Although he's not quite in the same league as Djibril Cisse in terms of follicular sculpting, getting your team's crest carved into your head is pretty cool.

Being from North Africa with a name like Zidan can only mean one thing - he will be followed everywhere by the tag 'The New Zidane', which has most recently been attributed to young Samir Nasri. However, during yesterday's 4-2 victory over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, Zidan scored a bit of a cracker:

That celebration will take some beating in a competition full of them. The little dance is good, the mounting and face-sitting makes it better, but the synchronised prayer is truly unique.