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One backpack and a trip to Denmark

  • Mohamed Zidan joined 1. FSV Mainz 05 for the third time this winter having played for them in 2005/06 and 2007
  • From 2008 to 2012 Zidan played for Borussia Dortmund where he scored 13 goals in 66 appearances
  • In 2005 the Egyptian international move from Denmark to the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen when scored three goals in 15 appearances.
  • He's also played for Hamburger SV in the 2007/08 season scoring twice in 21 appearances

Munich - Four games, four goals - Mohamed Zidan has hit top form since moving back to 1. FSV Mainz 05.

Having spent time working under his "mentor" Jürgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, the winter break saw Zidan actively pursue more regular first team opportunities. His "old love" came knocking and it didn't take long for the 30-year-old Egyptian international to decide to move "back home", a choice both he and the club have not regretted since. bundesliga.de compiled ten interesting facts about Mainz's most successful Bundesliga goal scorer.

Denmark

On his own and with just a backpack in tow, Zidan travelled to Denmark in 2000 as he sought to break into the world of football. In the meantime he started working a part-time job in a kitchen in Copenhagen as he waited patiently for his chance, which finally arrived in 2003. Danish first division side FC Midjylland signed the striker who made an immediate impact as he shot himself to the top of the goal scoring charts in his first season sparking interest from big name teams across Europe. In the winter of 2004 Werder Bremen snapped Zidan up and thus began his Bundesliga career.

Faith

Religion is an important part of Zidan's lifestyle and is deeply rooted in his faith having grown up reading the Koran. "In Egypt you don't just start taking notice of religion at some point in your life. You're born with it. Faith is of huge significance throughout our whole life and accompanies us until we die. That's more than understandable," he stated. In terms of the fasting times that are so hard to handle for professional footballers, the striker limits himself to observing the ritual during his free-time or on the training ground. Regular prayer is also often a problem, but fortunately it can be made up for according to Zidan.

Journeyman

Mohamed Zidan has been well travelled in the Bundesliga. During his six years in Germany's top flight Zidan has already played for four different clubs (Werder Bremen, Hamburger SV, Borussia Dortmund, FSV Mainz 05) including two different stints with Bremen and three with Mainz. The striker has scored 44 goals in 147 appearances. After battling relegation with Mainz, experiencing Europe with both Werder and Hamburg before winning the title last year with Dortmund, Zidan has done all there is to be done. Germany has turned into a second home for the front man who became a German citizen on 16th May 2011.

Klopp - a special coach

They met and immediately hit it off. Rarely has there been a more intimate relationship between a head coach and his player. Zidan always felt comfortable under the 44-year-old. "Jürgen Klopp is like a friend. One look is enough for me to understand what he wants from me. I can discuss all my problems with him. Even private ones. Something like that is great for one's self-confidence." The two worked together at both Mainz and Dortmund - openly, honestly and constructively. They've celebrated success and been relegated together. Some may say that's the foundation of a genuine friendship.

Mainz - his great love

On February 1st 2012 it was that time again as for the third time in his career the Egyptian international moved to 1. FSV Mainz 05. The forward had already enjoyed stints with the club during the 2005/06 season as well as the second half of the 2006/07 campaign scoring 22 goals in just 41 appearances - a goal scoring rate which he never achieved at any other club. "I never forgot about my time here," explained Zidan upon his most recent return. Despite initially only signing a contract that lasts until the summer he's determined to prolong his stay: "My girlfriend has already told our son Adam that we're finally back home."

African Cup of Nations

Having twice played a big role in winning the prestigious African Cup of Nations with the Egyptian national team Zidan has become a cult figure in his homeland. Egypt won the title in 2008 and 2010, both times with a 1-0 score line, against Cameroon and Ghana respectively. "The fans were all standing side-by-side as they carried me through the streets on their shoulders. There was an excitement, which I will never forget," Zidan said of the three-day long festivities that took place in the capital Cairo. He was also awarded the highest Order of Merit by his country, before getting a rapturous reception in his home town of Port Said in front of 30,000 people.

National hero

What Ryan Giggs is to Wales or Cristiano Ronaldo is to Portugal, Mohamed Zidan is for the Egyptian public. He's a role model who has achieved greatness abroad. As a result when he tore his cruciate ligament back in 2010, Egyptian television stations ended up personally sending him special features. "After the injury several broadcasters showed me encouraging footage. The topic: Ten footballers who tore cruciate ligaments before going on to enjoy an incredible amount of success after their recovery. Ronaldo was the top goal scorer at the 2002 World Cup, Del Piero and Totti returned and scored one goal after another. These were thing I didn't realise," conceded Zidan in an interview with "Ruhrnachrichten".

Cars

Following the birth of his son Zidan claimed that he had matured. Only when it comes to cars can he not help himself. "I've always been a freak. The minute I could afford it, I bought myself a lot of great cars. Even now I've got a Bentley and a Lamborghini under wraps in a garage in Dortmund. I don't even know when the last time I sat in them was," admitted Zidan in an interview with "Bild". Even Mainz manager Christian Heidel has to chuckle about his fondness for such a 'lively character': "He leaves to buy a pair of trousers and somehow comes back with a new car."

Idol

Zidan - the name alone gets people's attention, but in his (almost) namesake, Zinedine Zidane, the Mainz striker sees a great role model. "Zidane was the greatest player in the world and I always tried to learn from him. I've watched a lot of games which Zidane was involved in and tried to learn as best I could from his skill and movement," he told "fifa.com". In spite of his admiration for the 1998 World Cup winner he would rather remain as Zidan. "I always want to improve my game in order to prove that I'm good enough. I'm always looking to make a name for myself in my career. It's great to bear a similar name to him and I hope that one day I'll be as good as him."

Record holder

In the history of the Bundesliga no winter signing has ever been as accurate in front of goal as Mohamed Zidan has. The Egyptian international has found the back of the opponent's net in each of his first four games since his return to 1. FSV Mainz 05. "I didn't know that, but of course I'm very proud of that fact,” commented the 30-year-old with a grin on his face. Up until his goal last weekend Zidan had been level with Joshua Kennedy and Bernd Hobsch, who both scored in their first three matches after mid-season transfers. Despite setting a new record though Zidan's keeping his feet on the ground. "I can't drive myself crazy now thinking that I have to score in every game. That's just unrealistic," stated Zidan.

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