Amr Kaddoura sets his sights on a return from injury, promotion with Landskronna, and the national team

In 2019, Amr Kaddoura had the best season of his career and was statistically speaking one of the best goalkeepers in Sweden. The numbers certainly do not lie, Kaddoura posted 13 clean sheets and conceded
an average of .75 goals a game (21 in 28) in addition to scoring a last second equalizer against IFK Värnamo in a 2-2 draw.

 The three goalkeepers that were statistically better according to those
metrics were Johan Dahlin of FF Malmo, Isak Pettersson of Nörkopping,
and Oskar Linnér of AIK. All of whom have been capped by the Swedish
national team and whose teams were involved in a tight race for the
Allsvenskan title.

On the back of those performances Landskronna seemed destined for a return to the Superettan but were foiled at the final hurdle in the promotion playoffs. Kaddoura had the small consolation of being voted the best goalkeeper of the Ettan (third division) in 2019.

2020 was supposed to be the year Kaddoura broke through but instead things took a different turn.

In February he suffered an cruciate ligament tear in his knee. “A player was one-on-one against me in training as I was cutting out an
angle to block his shot. He shot and I got stuck in a weird way and twisted my knee. The
first few days it was really tough, it turned completely black. After what I had done last season, receiving the award as the
goalkeeper of the year, I really thought I would build on it and get us back to the Superettan”

Despite the injury, Landskronna kept the faith in their goalkeeper signing him to another one-year extension almost immediately after the diagnosis. Kaddoura is not expected to feature at all this season although the delayed start due to the Coronavirus pandemic might leave the door open for a late season return depending on how the goalkeeper progresses in rehab.

The show of confidence in himself and more importantly by his club was not always there. “It’s great that the club believes in me as a goalkeeper, the new contract gave me the peace of mind and security.”   

The confidence was not always there, “In previous years I was always doubted but last season I proved what I can do when I am given the opportunity. It meant a lot to me. Things were not always good at this club there was a lot of strange decisions from the board level down. Now we’re on the right track again and you can see that by the way we play on the pitch”

“We look really strong. We have maintained our defensive and safety where
we basically keep a clean sheet in every game. Now we have developed the attacking side of our game. We became like a machine in the fall last year and
it was thanks to our development of our offensive output.”Landskronna BoIS will be looking to replicate their form form last autumn when the Ettan kicks off this weekend.

National Team

Amr Kaddoura’s career is still without a national team appearance despite being a part of the set up since November 2018.

His commitments with Landskronna BoIS have also meant that call ups are not a straight forward affair. Unlike the Allsvenskan, the Superettan and Ettan do not stop during the international break. Kaddoura turned down call ups to the September qualifiers against Uzbekistan and Singapore as well as the October qualifiers to help Landskronna seal a promotion playoff place.

“We were so close to the qualifying place that I wanted to join the national team, but Landskronna has given me so much and you want to give back. I also knew that I probably would not have started for the national team in those matches which made the decision a little easier”

Despite his lack of game time the shot stopper stands at the ready when the national team calls.

“There are incredible emotions in representing the national team. It is a special country that has been experienced difficulty for many years. Being able to represent Palestine and trying to do something good that produces positive vibes, I think you have to experience it to understand.”

“Since I was born I’ve known that I am a Palestinian, I have followed what
is happening there and have strong feelings for the country. So for me
it is great to represent the national team. It’s not the best team in
the world, but to be there is big for me and my family”

Kaddoura was born in Sweden but like many other Palestinian families in the country his initially fled to Lebanon where they lived in a refugee camp  “My grandparents fled from Palestine to Lebanon.
There, it was tough living conditions so my parents decided to come to
Sweden. For me it is great that they chose to take the step here so me
and my siblings will have a good life, and Sweden has meant a lot to us.”

The national team has given Kaddoura the opportunity to visit Palestine twice thus far.
“For me it was a bit strange to get in there. There were seven meters high blocks around the city, you are trapped. The [Faisal Al-Husseini] stadium was right next to these blocks so it was like a wall right in front of us. It was disturbing but something that I think was important to experience.”

Kaddoura also got a taste of the realities of the Israeli occupation on his last trip to Palestine. “We usually train at the Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium, but once the women’s team had a match so we went to train at Majed Asaad, instead. At the end of training, we were doing some shooting drills, and suddenly I heard a grenade exploding and then a few shots. Me, Mahmoud Eid, and Nazmi Albadawi looked at each other and wondered what happened. After the training, we asked those who live in Palestine what was going on. “Oh, It , there are certainly some youths and soldiers who are fucking with each other,” That’s when I realized how absolutely messed up the situation was”

Despite that, Amr Kaddoura is eagerly anticipating a return to the national team when he is injury-free again.

“In two years we have the Asian Cup and I am aiming to join that squad. I talk to the team captain (Abdelatif Bahdari) every now and then and he pushes me, it feels good that he cares. But now my focus is to come back, then we take it from there.”

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