Former Borussia Dortmund and Egypt forward Mohamed Zidan has sought to clarify comments he made about Jurgen Klopp and Mohamed Salah.
In an interview earlier this year, Zidan suggested Klopp had told him he was a better player than Salah but didn’t share his professionalism.
Zidan played for Dortmund between 2008 and 2012, and Salah didn’t move to Europe with Basel until 2012.
Now, Zidan says his comments had been misunderstood – but he still looks at his own career with a sense of unfulfilled potential.
Speaking on Egyptian TV channel AlNahar, Zidan said: “I did not say that I am better than Salah.
“I said that Klopp told me that if I had the same commitment as he has, that I would have been better than what I was.
“I would have achieved a lot more. Maybe more than what Salah has achieved, if I had the same commitment and concentration on and off the pitch.
“I had lots of surgeries on my knees and my back, and that affected me a lot.”
Zidan nevertheless remains a huge fan of Salah’s, and will no doubt have been delighted to see him become the first Egyptian to win the Premier League this season.
Back in November 2018, he told Goal: “He’s representing Egyptians very well in England and Liverpool. He’s doing very well and we all support him always.
“We all have his back and we always pray for him and always follow him because he is representing us as Egyptians and as Arabs.
“He’s a good example, as we were before – me and other Egyptian colleagues who played in Europe, like Mido, Ahmed Hassan and many other players who played in top leagues.
“Now Mo Salah is continuing the legacy of Egyptian players in Europe to make the Egyptian kids keep dreaming, because he’s one of us.
“Today is Mo Salah time, it is going very well, he is giving hope to all Egyptians and then in the future it will be other kids from Egypt that will play in Europe.”
Zidan won back-to-back Bundesliga titles with Dortmund in 2011 and 2012, and won two Africa Cup of Nations titles with Egypt.
By Sam France
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