Ramy Rabia plays his football in Cairo for Al Ahly and has already made full international appearances and, while proud to wear the colours of his hometown team, Rabia admittedly has a dream.
The 20-year-old has become infatuated by the English Premier League; by its history, its famous clubs and its fast, physical style of play that fits his own attributes to a tee.
England, he told FIFA.com, is where he wants his bridge to lead.
“The English league is definitely my favourite,” he said. “I don’t have a particular team I support but I love watching all the great sides: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United. That’s the kind of football I love and my hope is definitely to play there at one stage in my career. It’s my dream, and I think it’s the kind of league that would suit me.
“Some English clubs have been mentioned as being interested in me, and I know Arsene Wenger said some nice things about my performances for Al Ahly at the Club World Cup. I don’t know what will come of that but I know I need to do well here and show everyone that I am a good player.”
There would, of course, be no better opportunity to impress an English audience than when Rabia and his Egypt team-mates go up against the Three Lions on Saturday in their final Group E fixture.
Despite his youth, Rabia appears to possess the sort of attitude that takes players to the top of their trade.
After a disappointing tournament so far, Rabia has spoken about his captaincy. “It’s a very big responsibility for me to be captain and a very big honour too,” he said. “I really appreciate the coach putting this faith in me, especially because I missed all of the friendly matches and the preparation work before this tournament due to an injury. I only came back a few days before our first game, so I didn’t expect this honour and I know I owe the coach a lot. As captain, I have been trying to speak to the players and build their confidence back up because I can see that some of them have been nervous about playing in a World Cup.
“We all know we should have done a lot better. But the most important thing for us now is to win and give the Egypt fans something to cheer, because their support for us here in Turkey has been great. The players are all hurt by what has happened but we have looked closely at our mistakes and everyone is determined to turn things around. We still believe we can do something.”
SkySports linked United with Rabia last month and when fellow players begin to talk about certain individuals I think you need to take notice of it.
The England v Egypt U20 group match kicks off at 7pm UK time tomorrow, I can’t see any coverage on the main channels but I’m sure there will be a stream knocking about somewhere. Follow our Twitter or check back here around kickoff time and I’ll try to find one. If you know any please share it with us. It should be a decent match as both teams HAVE to win to have any chance of qualifying and you might just get a glimpse of a future United signing.
Related items from Red Rants: