EXCLUSIVE | Omar Marmoush talks Al Ahly, Borussia Dortmund interest, Olympics and more

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- Yasmine El Tohamy - Photo: Vfl Wolfsburg

Omar Marmoush is an Egyptian striker playing for VFL Wolfsburg II and at only 21 he has been a revelation to Egyptian football. The forward moved to Germany at only 18 after an impressive spell at Wadi Degla.

The Egyptian star in the making has nine goals and two assists so far this season, scoring a magnificent brace last week.

KingFut’s Michel Jreissati spoke to the 7 Agency player exclusively about his time in Egypt, role models, the Olympics and more:

First of all can you tell us how did the move to Wolfsburg happen?

‘”After scoring 44 goals in 28 matches in the 2016/2017 season in the U19 team of Wadi Degla I moved up to the first team after my hattrick against Al Ahly where Patrice Carteron, the first team coach, was watching, where I then played in the Egyptian first division and scored a couple of goals. After that other clubs started to show an interest in me. An agent from England contacted me and watched me in several games and then was very interested in bringing me to Europe. His partner worked in Germany and at that time VFL Wolfsburg were looking for a striker, they wanted to buy me after seeing my videos and so I traveled to Wolfsburg for 2 days to train with the team and see how the fit with the club would be.  After that, they were interested in signing me and made me an offer i signed 2 days later, and now here I am 2 years later.”

Were there any other clubs that showed interest? Who?

“Dortmund, and Malaga at the time, but they weren’t really firm deals on the table, it was just an expression of interest. Wolfsburg were the ones who were very interested and wanted to finish the deal.”

And are there any clubs that showed interest recently (transfer window)?

“Recently yes, a few clubs in Egypt such as Pyramids and Al Ahly as well as some other clubs in Europe.”

How would you describe your time in Egypt?

“I feel it was very good for me to mature and develop in Wadi Degla, gaining experience by playing next to some great and experienced players like Florent Malouda and Essam ElHadary. It was very short, but my main focus was always to play in Europe to become the best player i can be, once I got the chance I did not think twice.”

How different is Germany from Egypt? (Football and everyday life)

“The life here is very professional and disciplined, it is all about training and working hard every day to be better every day than the day before. While in Egypt there are many good players and talents, but the discipline and the mentality are very different. In Germany the training is more challenging, and you have to keep working every day to keep your position in the team.”

How did you settle in?

“In the beginning it was very hard to settle in because I was just 18 years old and it was the first time I was living alone, away from my family and in a new country with a different language and a different way of life. Slowly after spending more time with my teammates, learning the language, and making more friends on and off the pitch I felt comfortable, which also helped my football a lot.”

What were the challenges?

“The main challenges in the beginning were mainly my fitness level which needed to improve and has significantly, the awareness and knowledge of the tactics which I have also been able to get much better at, and finally the language.”

Was there a language barrier?

“Yes of course, I could speak a little bit of English with my teammates, but they mostly spoke German. It was also very hard in the beginning since they always spoke German in training also, and the coaching was all in German.  Now I have learned to speak good German which has helped a lot with my development.”

How do you deal with homesickness?

“The main thing that helped me deal with homesickness was the football and my focus to make the most of the opportunity I was given.  In the beginning it was very hard to be away from my family, but after a couple of months it became easier.”

What kind of mentality should you have to make it to this stage and compete?

“You have to be very dedicated and ready to sacrifice a lot of things in your life in order to achieve your goal of playing in the top leagues in Europe and compete at the top level in general. It is very hard and in order to succeed you have to be mentally strong, patient and focused. And not get affected by social pressure or anyone that tries to stand in your way of reaching your goals.”

What are the reasons that make Egyptians fail or not prevail abroad?

“In my opinion, the only reason that makes Egyptians fail abroad is the mentality, discipline and attitude of all the players. Although we have a lot of talent in Egypt. We should all look to Mo Salah and try to learn from his commitment to the sport and the way he trains and takes care of his body in order to achieve success by always believing in himself and not getting affected by what happens around him.”

What do you think are the reasons in the decline of the Egyptian’s national team recently?

“I think their performance has not been at the top level in the last time, but every team has a dip at a certain time, but I am sure they will work hard in order to start playing better and form a good team.”

What are your thoughts on the rise of women’s football in Egypt?

“It is a great thing to see and in my opinion, women should also get the chance to play and have fun on the pitch just the way men do. Therefore, I am very happy with the way the women are rising and starting to appear on the pitch and in the media enjoying their football and getting the attention they deserve.”

Which club would you dream of playing for?

“I dream of playing in the Premier League, Manchester United would be one of my top teams to play for.”

Have you always played in your position, if not how did it happen?

“In the beginning of my career I was playing on the wing, because I was fast and could shoot well from outside the box, after moving up to the first team Mido turned me into a number 9 and more of a direct striker. He is the one that taught me the keys of playing in this position and helped me use my abilities and advantages to play best in this position.”

Any other positions you enjoy playing in?

“Yes, I enjoy playing on the wing as I used to and as a play maker to direct more the team play and make assists, but my main position is as a striker.”

What are your ambitions on club level? Are you aiming on spending more time at Wolfsburg at play for the first team or what are your near future goals?

“My current contract ends in 4 months, my main focus and goal until then is to win the league with my team and score at least 15 goals this season which I already have 9 of, and of course if it is possible to make my first team debut this year.  What happens at the end of this year is still undecided but the future is positive. Hopefully in the next two to three years I achieve my goal of playing in one of the top clubs in the Bundesliga.”

How would it feel to be part of the upcoming Olympics?

“Playing in the Olympics is an honor for every player and to represent his nation. I am training everyday with one focus which is to join the team in the 2020 Olympics if there is a possibility. At the end of the day it all goes back to the manager’s team choice, but I will try my best to be there.”

Which player(s) do you get along the most with at Wolfsburg?

“There is not one specific player at Wolfsburg, I get along with all of the players, we are all like one big family.”

Who contributed the most to your success?

“God, my family, the Coaches throughout my career, and my friends. I am blessed to have people around me that support me 100%.”

Photo: vfl-wolfsburg.de

You said that you admired Mido, what is one thing you learned from him that helped you?

“He is the one that helped me adapt and change my position. He helped me realize that my position should be playing as a striker and nothing else, taking my speed and strength into consideration. He also taught me how to position myself in the box to help my team and score more goals while helping my teammates score goals as well, he also gave me some of his experience from his career.”

Who was your role model growing up? Why?

“My role model was Ronaldinho and the Brazilian Ronaldo. Ronaldinho was one of the players that changed the game and he always played football with a lot of passion and made it look so easy and at the same time he was always smiling and having fun. And the Brazilian Ronaldo because he was a very talented and skillful number 9 that scored goals from very few chances.”

You just turned 21 how close do you think you are to joining the national team?

“I am confident in my ability to join the senior national team at any time and I believe i am ready to prove myself. I train everyday and keep my focus in order to hopefully join the national team during the upcoming opportunities.”

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