Raise a pint of bitter, Spurs fans, for former Tottenham striker Mido, who announced his retirement from football yesterday. The Egyptian striker made the announcement on his personal Twitter account:
اليوم أعلن اعتزالي لعب كرة القدم نهائيا..أشكر كل من ساندني خلال مشواري ..خاصة جمهور بلدي العظيم.— Mido (@midoahm) June 11, 2013
Today I am announcing my retirement from football for good... thank everyone who supported me during my career ... especially my great audience. [Google Translate]
If you think of an international journeyman footballer, Mido's career would be right up there as an archetype. His 14-year playing career featured stops in Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy, and of course, England. At his peak he scored 21 goals for Ajax in 40 games, and was a regular with the Egyptian national team. During this time he also gained a pretty rotten reputation, accused of being petulant, arrogant, and short-tempered, culminating in an incident where he reportedly threw a pair of scissors at Zlatan Ibrahimovich.
He played for Tottenham on loan from Roma in 2005-06 and had a pretty good year, scoring 11 goals in 27 matches. He was then signed permanently for £5.9m, though he was significantly marginalized on the squad by the signing of Dimitar Berbatov, who quickly became first choice striker, and a major falling out with manager Martin Jol. Mido also made some pretty stupid comments about then-Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell, calling him "the easiest defender I've ever played against." He was sold to Middlesbrough a year after his signing for £7.7m, a tidy bit of business, all things considered.
Unfortunately, Mido's crappy attitude proved to be his undoing. Today, we remember him more for his ballooning weight after leaving Spurs and his profligacy in front of goal after his permanent signing. While perhaps not exactly a flop, he definitely didn't fit in very well at Tottenham and has rightly been considered a "dressing room cancer." Even so, he made enough of an impression to remain in Tottenham lore, and one would imagine the pie vendors of North London are mourning his departure from football.