The now-34-year-old scored 19 goals in 61 appearances for us between 2005-07, having represented Gent – tonight’s opponents in the UEFA Europa League, round of 32 – in 2000-01.
Here’s a look at some of the things the former Egyptian international had to say…
You moved from Zamalek to KAA Gent (in 2000) early on in your professional career. How do you look back on your time playing and living in Belgium?
Mido: “It was a special place for me. KAA Gent were the first club in Europe to give me the opportunity as a young player. They took really good care of me, which was important as I was only 17 at the time. I made some very good friends there and I have fond memories. We finished fifth in the league the season I was there, which was a good achievement. We had a good blend of experienced players, like Gunther Schepens and Vital Borkelmans, along with some really good youngsters.”
What do you remember about your Spurs debut against Portsmouth on February 5, 2005?
Mido: “I had only arrived in the UK from Italy four days before that game. To come into the side and score twice on your debut in a 3-1 home win is something you dream about of course. I remember stepping out onto the pitch for the first time against Portsmouth at White Hart Lane and the atmosphere was incredible. I always thought that English football would suit me and it was great to get out there and make an instant impact at Tottenham. I have very good memories of my time at the club. We had some fantastic players and it was a privilege to be a part of that. It’s a very special club and I class myself as a Tottenham supporter these days.”
Above: Mido in action for us at Fulham in February, 2007.
What have you been up to since retiring from playing at Barnsley in 2013?
Mido: “I am the head coach of an Egyptian Premier League club called Wadi Degla these days. I have been working at the top level for the last three years now. I managed the biggest club in Africa in my opinion (Zamalek) and I won the Egypt Cup with them in my first season. That made me the youngest Egyptian coach in history to win a major trophy. I have learned a lot from all the clubs I was at as a player and I’m really enjoying transferring that knowledge into my coaching. I am still undertaking my coaching badges, travelling over to Wales from time-to-time to study at Dragon Park.”
How much are you looking forward to watching this evening’s match between two of your former clubs?
Mido: “It will be very interesting. I watch Spurs play every week and I think Mauricio Pochettino has done a fantastic job. Everywhere you look on the pitch there are quality players. There are the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, who I know from my second spell at Ajax (on loan in 2010) and they are all top internationals. I really like Wanyama and Dembele in the middle of the park, the full-backs Rose and Walker have been incredible in recent seasons and of course Harry Kane is a top quality striker. Dele Alli has been a revelation for Spurs and I have to mention Heung-Min Son too. What a side they have. Gent will be a tricky opponent though. The club still has the same technical director from my time there, Michel Louwagie. He has done fantastic work for the club, bringing some great players there and helping develop them from a team used to finishing mid-table in the league to winning the title a few seasons back and playing in the Champions League last season. They have a great coach in Hein Vanhaezebrouck and they play with three at back on most occasions. They are well organised and play very decent football.”
Be sure to pick up your copy of the programme at the match at Wembley this evening for more from Mido – available for £3.50 from several points around the stadium…