Very discreet in the media, the Malagasy player from Mouloudia d’Alger, Ibrahim Amada, has agreed to leave his reserve and confide in the goalscorer and El Heddaf TV about his experience with the Dean and his future prospects, as he will have to leave the Algerian league at the end of the season eight years after his arrival because of the current FAF law, which prohibits foreign players over 27 years old from playing in the country. Amada, who will be playing with his team at the CAN next June, told us about the contacts he has had and his thoughts on the team’s return phase this season. Interview :
You have been unavailable for several weeks now due to an injury. How do you manage this difficult period ?
With the series of trips, whether with the national team or Le Mouloudia, I have accumulated a lot of fatigue. I hurt my leg in the hamstrings. It was predictable. I figure I shouldn’t have played some games. It would have saved me this injury. This season, I’ve missed a lot of league games, but what do you want, that’s what we do for a living. Injuries are part of a footballer’s life. I have to hold on.
You came to the club a year and a half ago. How would you rate this period under the colors of the MCA ?
A perfect time, I would say. It’s true that we’re still under pressure, but playing in a stadium with 50,000 fans is also very motivating. My adaptation was quick and I am very happy with my journey so far.
Unfortunately for you, there is a title missing from this journey, isn’t there ?
It’s true that we were very well placed last season to win the title. That’s a pity. The summer preparation was not good, but Casoni and his staff tried to fix it during the season. We played well, there was joy when we were on the field. Our only regret is that we couldn’t make it happen with a title at the end of the season.
Exactly what didn’t work in the end ?
I think we fell into doubt at the worst time of the season. Fatigue was also accumulating. We had managed to build something strong in just one year.
Many say that the match lost to JSK in the Algerian Cup created a kind of break. Do you agree with that ?
Yes, that’s exactly what it is. From that game on, we started to doubt. The results no longer followed. We started to wonder about it. We were losing what we had and physically, we had flinched too. Then there was the defeat by the NAHD, which completely killed us. We lost the title there.
Paradoxically, in the African Champions League, the beginning of the course was quite interesting. How do you explain this ?
It was a new challenge. We were motivated and when you win at Sétif, you think, it’s possible to do something interesting. Too bad, it didn’t follow.
The preparation in France wasn’t good either, was it ?
It’s not that. It’s not that. We didn’t have much time to make a big preparation for the season. We had to be ready for the resumption of this Champions League and, therefore, the technical staff did not have all the ingredients to ensure a proper preparation.
How do you rate the course in this LDC ?
I think we played well against TP Mazembe both on the outward and return legs. We weren’t ridiculous, all in all. I think the group’s inexperience at this level of the competition played a bad trick on us. We missed each other in a pretty stupid way.
After that, the beginning of the championship was very complicated…
We were saturated. Very tired. But it’s over now. Now we’re coming back little by little.
The departure during the off-season of players like Balegh, Chaouchi, Karaoui may have affected the group as well, right ?
Yes, maybe, but it’s the choice of the staff and the management and I can’t say anything about that. After that, it’s true that a player like Karaoui is a charismatic guy. Chaouchi, his presence in the goals was enough to disturb the opposing strikers. It was unfortunate to see them leave.
How was the relationship with Casoni ?
Casoni was very close to us. Constantly listening to the players, but also very demanding. We must not forget the work of Hakim Malek. He did a lot of work, including video. We embraced their work. It was a pleasure to play with them. The coach has set up a different style of play from what the Mouloudia had before.
Rafik Saïfi then took over, before Amrouche’s subsequent arrival….
Yes, with Rafik, we managed to achieve a few good results. We would have preferred stability, but that’s the way it is. All the coaches who came in brought us something. Amrouche has his own style and ideas. It’s starting to join the group.
Amrouche brought a completely different style of play from Casoni….
He is looking for a more effective game and it takes a lot of work. In training, he forces us to think. When it takes, it’s going to be good for the team.
Do you think the MCA can come back in force during this return phase ?
I don’t know, but what I can tell you is that everyone is motivated to come back in strength. We have recruited players who will bring something extra to the team. I think we’re going to be better.
Now let’s talk about your future. There is a lot of information that says you could leave this winter. What exactly is the situation ?
These are all hallway noises. People talk a lot. For the moment, I’m at Le Mouloudia. I spoke with the president and decided to stay. I feel very good at the club and I want to finish the season with a title. Everyone dreams of playing at the MCA, especially with their audience.
Do you confirm that you have received offers ?
Yes. There were discussions with my agents, but there was nothing concrete in the end.
Are you interested in playing in one of the Gulf countries ?
I’m not thinking about that right now. Right now, I’m more focused on my injury than I am on healing. In any case, I am glad to be asked so much, but it is still too early to talk about it.
You’d like to stay and play the CAN with your country, wouldn’t you ?
That’s right, that’s right. I came back into shape for the national team thanks to Le Mouloudia. My ambition is to achieve a good CAN.
In Algeria, there is a law that prohibits foreign players over 27 years of age from playing in the league.
In the idea, this law was not intended to harm anyone, but it does collateral damage in the end. A player of 27 or 28 years old, it is at that age that he reaches maturity. This is where the player is at the top of his game. Now I’m being told that I have to leave the Algerian league. That is unfortunate. Basically, this law was put in place to help the Algerian player to have a place in the national team, but, in my opinion, to raise the level of a league, you have to have a lot of foreign players. You can find that in the greatest championships in the world.
Do you think this law needs to be changed ?
Yes, it must be modified. Give more flexibility to the foreign player. It’s not age that makes the difference. Drogba for example, when he was 28 years old, he was in top form. Personally, I have trouble with this law.
What was the most important thing for you in Algeria ?
People’s hospitality during the month of Ramadhan. It’s not like in our country. I was surprised at first. People who don’t know you invite you to their homes to eat. That’s fabulous !
You thought about having Algerian nationality, is that true ?
If I can get it, I will. It is still under discussion. I don’t know the procedures. It is up to the management to do it.
The Mouloudia fans are demanding a title at least this season. Does the MCA have the means to pick him up according to you ?
Yeah, that’s what we’re playing for. We don’t promise anything, but we give it our all. In cutting, everything can happen. In the league, we have to think about coming back on the podium to aim for an African qualification next season. We have to give the coach time. He’s doing a good job. A great club like Mouloudia deserves to win a title.
How do you see the team’s chances in the Arab Cup ?
There are only big guns left in this competition. We must give everything to hope to go even further.
The confrontation against Al-Merreikh, how do you see it ?
It was a team that eliminated the USMA. She can eliminate us too. We have to prepare well for both games to hope to pass. We came across a big piece.