Egypt: El Shennawy - Ahly's 'Guarding Angel'

For Al Ahly and Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy, this has been his season to remember. The shot stopper has cemented his place as his club and country first choice guardian, he donned The Red Devils Captain armband, and had some records to break in the process.

El Shenawy who will turn 32 next December started his career in the youth ranks of the Cairo giants, before leaving to Talaea el Geish in 2009. He had spells in Haras El Hodood and Petrojet before rejoining Al Ahly in 2016. After some time as a backup goalkeeper, El Shenawy forced himself as the first choce between the posts, earning himself a regular place in Egypt's national team. He excelled at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, including a "Man of the Match" performance against Uruguay in the group stage.

This season is undoubtedly his best while defending the Red Devils. El Shenawy achieved an Egyptian Premier League record, keeping a clean sheet in 24 out of 30 games he started, conceding only 8 goals in the process. As Al Ahly claimed their 42nd League title and fifth in a row, El Shenawy was considered as their Man of the Season.

"Returning to Ahly in 2016 was the best moment of my career", El Shenawy said. "When I left Al Ahly in 2009, I was dreaming of this moment. And when it came, I vowed to give my all for my beloved side."

Going to this weekend Total CAF Champions League semifinal first leg against Morocco's Wydad this weekend, El Shenawy is hoping that his heroics would not come to an end now. After grabbing injury in an Egyptian Premier League match a couple of weeks ago, Al Ahly supporters were relieved to see him back and ready for this crucial game.

"In Ahly we always play to win, whatever the competition we are in. Our target is the Champions League title, but now we focus on the first leg against Wydad and then we can take it match by match", he concluded.

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