Why Zamalek Star Maarouf Yussuf Was Called Up By Gernot Rohr


The one name that coach of the Super Eagles Gernot Rohr included in his squad for the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers tie against South Africa ‎which raised eyebrows is Zamalek star Maarouf Yussuf.

Yussuf plays for Egyptian side Zamalek, and he is predominantly a defensive midfielder, but the last two seasons the left footed hard tackling midfielder has filled in as a left full back for Zamalek.

As exclusively reported by Owngoalnigeria.com one month ago, he was called up by Rohr to help ease the left full back issues currently troubling the Super Eagles of Nigeria.


Rohr only has Elderson Echiejile as his first choice left back, and even at that Echiejile has found games hard to come by at club level despite having two loan spells at Standard Liege and Sporting Gijon.

The Monaco defender failed to truly assert himself during the two different loan spells he had last season, and Rohr was hoping Chelsea teen full back Ola Aina will add depth to his options but FIFA is yet to give Aina the all clear to switch allegiance to Nigeria from England.

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Maarouf won the coach over after one of his assistant Imama Amapakabo played against him when Zamalek took on Enugu Rangers in the CAF Champions League group stage qualifiers.

He operated from the left full back position against Rangers and immediately won Imama over who subsequently told Salisu Yusuf, the senior coach of the Nigeria team who relayed the message to Rohr.

Ade Emmanuel