Hassan left Minho for Olympiacos, the great rival of Braga’s last hurdle before the Champions League
Ahmed Hassan won a Portuguese Cup with Braga and three trophies at the service of Olympiacos, in Greece, where he lived to the bone the rivalry with Panathinaikos, the last obstacle for the Arsenal players, tomorrow, before the Champions League. A top scorer wherever he has been, the Egyptian left a good mark in 2022/23 at Alanyaspor, on loan, and faces this play-off with great expectations.
« It was clear in the first game, as I thought before, that they are teams that really want to win and go through. They will do everything for that place in the group stage. Panathinaikos is making an organized team, it is not like in recent years. Since last year, there has been a superior work, they are keeping players and adding quality », analyzes the Egyptian, who should complete another season in Piraeus.
The 2-1 that the Greeks reached towards the end opened doubts, but not for Hassan. « It would have been preferable to have ended 2-0, now it will be a difficult game. But that’s football, it happened, I hope that Braga also scores in Athens, which would help a lot. Braga is very strong, growing a lot, with a good coach and a very full squad. The fans are very supportive and the president is always present. He will end up going through to the group stage, he is the favorite! », predicts the player, aware that there are always obvious dangers when playing in Athens . « The atmosphere in the stadium of the big ones in Athens is unbelievable, it’s really beautiful, it makes you experience the game in a different way. They are very fanatical, even crazy, but I also think that Braga’s players are used to that, because they have the experience of games against FC Porto, Benfica and Sporting. »
Hassan scored 25 goals in 108 matches for Braga between 2015/16 and 2019/20. Since then, the striker sees the former club « growing in its objectives », with the support of a president, António Salvador, who has added « higher quality players every year. » « He always wants to give more to the club. I’m enjoying seeing it, there’s a great squad there and they’ve already had an excellent season. Let them do another one and play for the Champions League, a very important goal that eluded them a few years ago and it’s a beautiful thing to do. the athletes. A dream! It’s what I want most, because Panathinaikos is my great rival and I like Braga a lot », concludes the striker, now 30 years old.
From Paulo Fonseca to the Bruma effect
Hassan avoids comparisons between the current Braga and the one he represented, but recalls that « the team played really well with Paulo Fonseca, you can’t forget ». Unforgettable was also a classic against Panathinaikos, in which the Egyptian scored twice and Bruma scored another goal, in a triumph (3-1) on the way to the title, in 2020/21.
« Bruma stands out for his speed and technique. I hope he can be decisive and help Braga reach their goals. But everyone is important, even those on the bench can be decisive », analyzes Hassan.