Ethiopia's new emperor

If Ethiopia are going to pull up any trees on their return to the African elite then it’s more than likely Saladin Said, the best known name in Ethiopian football, will be to the fore.


 
The Wadi Degla FC forward has emerged as an instant household name and poster boy in Ethiopia after his decisive goals in World Cup qualifiers. Said, 24, is Ethiopia’s top scorer this year with three goals from six qualifiers, including a 1-1 draw against South Africa in the 2014 World Cup race.

The goal he scored against Sudan to clinch the African Cup of Nations spot in October was his ninth in 12 games. Prolific scoring indeed, but to most fans a man definitely under the radar.

Here then is a little to help you join the Said fan club.

Said plays for Egyptian club Wadi Degla who in 2011 paid Saint George FC an Ethiopian record-shattering 2 million and 40 thousand Birr ($240,000) for him.

He made his debut in Ethiopia with Saint George FC and Saladin was the leading scorer in the Ethiopian premier League season in 2007–08,when he scored 21 goals in 17 games.

In the season 2008-09, he also received the title for scoring 24 goals. He also received the title “Best Player of the League”.

In 2010 he did have a trial with Serbia’s Partizan but the transfer did not go through.
 
Zambia’s coach Herve Renard already has an eye on him, describing Said as a dangerous man to watch. He warned his players to be wary of the threat posed by the Said when the two sides clash in the opening Group C match.


 

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