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Posted on 1 November 2006  - 12:00

Belgium will always hold a special place in the heart of our Egyptian hitman Mido.

Belgium will always hold a special place in the heart of our Egyptian hitman Mido.

The in-form striker - three goals in his last two starts - cut his professional teeth at KAA Gent in the Belgian league and made his name having moved from Cairo to Europe with 11 goals in 23 games.

Now he's hoping to add to add a UEFA Cup goal to this season's tally against Club Brugge, one of the country's famous footballing names, in our group stage clash at the Lane on Thursday night.

"I had a really good time in Belgium," reflected Mido. "I was only 17 when I went and it was a really important move for my career. The Belgian league is one of the best a young player can go to because you have the chance to play quite a few games and get some good experience.

"I left my club in Cairo and was looking for success in Belgium and it worked out well for me. I scored 11 goals in 23 league games for Gent and if I had not enjoyed my time there, it would have been a big disappointment because I needed to do well for my future career in European football.

"We finished in joint fourth place that season and qualified for the InterToto Cup which was a great achievement for the club. There were quite a few older, more experienced players who helped me a lot and it was an enjoyable spell.

"I remember playing one game against Anderlecht, who were a strong side and won the league championship that season. I scored the winner in the 94th minute to make it 2-1 and that was the first time Gent had ever beaten them in their history. I also played in the UEFA Cup against Ajax, which was great experience.

"Gent are not one of the top clubs, they usually finish around fourth, fifth or sixth in the table, but it was a good place to play at that stage of my career."