'I should do any kind of work to feed my family' - Egyptian defender working as street vendor amid coronavirus crisis

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is set to touch the lives of billions around the world, and footballers are far from exempt from this fact.

Mahrous Mahmoud, a defender for Beni Suef SC in the Egyptian second division, has been working as a street vendor to provide for his family during lockdown.

After sport in Egypt was halted in mid-March, Mahmoud’s club cut player wages and he lost some $200 from his monthly salary.

In order to feed his family, he has worked as a construction worker and at a bakery, selling Ramadan sweets in Mafalut, 350 kilometres south of Cairo.

“I should do any kind of work to help feed them,” he told the Associated Press of his family.

“Nobody is immune, but those like me and my family have to survive."

Mahmoud found work as a construction worker, making $7 a day, but he only works that job two days a week due to his commitments at the bakery.

Mahrous Mahmoud

The eldest of two sons, 28-year-old Mahmoud is supporting both of his parents and his younger brother.

His father had worked part-time as a driver but had to retire due to heart problems, and the four live together in one room of a three-storey building housing six other families.

Mahmoud was interested in sport from a young age, taking up boxing and handball before joining his club’s football team after being convinced by coaches.

“They told me that I would be a good defender,” he explained, adding that his team-mates nicknamed him after Vincent Kompany - though his own personal role model is Virgil van Dijk.

Mahrous Mahmoud

Sport is expected to return in Egypt over the summer, possibly as early as June.

Clubs are set to gradually return to training, with the date for the return of matches set to be decided at a later date.

Some locals may have been forgiven for thinking Egypt’s biggest footballer had returned to the streets of Cairo this week.

A gang of four men were arrested while trying to rob a store in the Nasr City neighbourhood of the capital – using masks of Mohamed Salah’s face to disguise their identity.