Abdelghany Ramadan, “Boudy” as he is more known as, is a 18-years-old footballer from Lebanon who dreams of one day being the first Lebanese to play in the Premier League. Currently part of Manchester City’s youth program, he is closer to that dream than any other Lebanese, but his task is still far from easy, as the young lad himself admits.
Ahdaaf’s Hamoudi Fayad spoke to Boudy in the first of our weekly interview series.
Boudy has a great passion for Lebanese football. He is studying for a coaching degree, with his mind set on his future in preparation for the worst. No matter what happens, his dream is to be a prominent figure in the improvement of Lebanese Football, “If not as a player for Lebanon, I want to do it as a coach or manager” Says Boudy. “I believe so much in Lebanese football, and I want people to remember me for what I gave”. Shisha, motorcycles, late nights, fan problems and poor pitches are the norm in Lebanon, Boudy denotes these deficiencies clearly, “There needs to be a lot of improvement in the Lebanese league like improving pitches so players could be comfortable” he adds. “There needs to be an emphasis on youth players, and because it is such a small country we have to focus on building a team mixed with youth and experience”. Boudy also believes in organisation by setting regulations “For players who have lots of shisha and do things a professional should not do”.
The Lebanon born midfielder began his footballing career as a youngster in Belguim coming through the famed Anderlecht system that taught him the European way of football. “This system includes respecting opposition while being mentally and physically prepared for a game without distractions or pressure” emphasized Ramadan. “This is something the Arab World/Middle East’s systems lack”. A man not afraid to speak his feelings, he acknowledges Manchester City as a team “who want to do everything the quick way without relying on youth players”. He continued. “this is the problem here at Man City, where they have the capability of buying any player in the world that’s ‘done’”. With currently over 450 players in the Manchester City EDS (Elite Development System) and Academy, the test just gets harder and harder for players coming from various destinations across the world. The call-ups to the higher teams, although, are rare and there are only a few players who end up “playing a game or two, because they are Brazilian or Spanish”.
Boudy has an agent who is guiding him to the correct pathway in choosing between club and country. Boudy has his mind set on the Lebanese National team, but only keeps in contact with a few players such as former PSG youth product Larry Mehanna, Soony Saad and Abbas Hassan – for now. The 17-years-old wants to focus on breaking in to the Manchester City Academy permanently before finally taking his chance with Lebanon this year, something he previously stated in an interview with Lebanese TV channel LBC in 2014.
Boudy, whose dad was a former goalkeeper in the then amateur Alfa Lebanese League, has a soft spot for Al-Nejmeh but “doesn’t really care about who wins the league”, a trait worthy of admiration. I personally share the aspirations of Boudy, and as long as we have competition in the league that is what is important. The more teams that start to play in the AFC Cup, get more success and professionalize will help the league take strides towards spots in the AFC Champions League.
Boudy fondly looks back at one moment in his career in English football so far, not with Manchester City but with another Manchester team playing in the seventh tier of English football. Ashton United reached the semi-finals of the regional cup against all the odds, where he claimed that it “was just like Greece in 2004”.
“It was a pleasure being a part of your interview Mr. Fayad, wish you the best with your website!” Follow Boudy on Instagram – boudy_ramadan