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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Morocco's striker Boutaib looks forward to new career challenge with Egypt's Zamalek

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 30 Jan 2019
Khalid Boutaib
Zamalek's new Moroccan striker Khalid Boutaib (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Zamalek's new Moroccan striker Khalid Boutaib says that he favoured the Cairo giant's offer over others, as he eyes a new challenge in his career, adding that the current outstanding group of players encouraged him to choose the Whites.

"Zamalek is among the most famous clubs in Africa. It is a new challenge for me and a chance to prove myself in a different league. I always search for these challenges," Boutaib said in an interview with Al-Ahram Al-Riyadi magazine, which was published on Wednesday.

On 7 January, Zamalek announced the signing of the 31-year-old Moroccan hitman, who was playing for Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor. The player signed a three-and-a-half-year contract in a deal estimated to be worth EGP 30 million.

"I was encouraged to join Zamalek because of the management's professionalism in negotiations and because the team includes many outstanding international players Like Tunisian duo Ferjani Sassi and Hamdi Nagguez, Egyptian duo Tarek Hamed and Mahmoud Kahraba, as well as other good players," the international striker said.

"I had two offers from Saudi clubs and another to remain in Europe, but I preferred to join Zamalek because of its popularity and my desire to clinch titles.

"All the factors for success exist in Zamalek. The team is marching successfully in both the domestic league as well as the CAF Confederation Cup. I promise the club's fans to do my best to prove myself and contribute with my teammates to win titles," Boutaib concluded.

Boutaib defended his decision to end his journey in Europe to seal the move to Zamalek; insisting that his chances with the Moroccan national team will not be negatively affected.

Boutaib, who made two league appearances so far with Zamalek, is expected to become the team's first choice frontman following the departure of Congolese Kabongo Kasongo to Saudi Arabia's Al-Wehda on a loan deal. The team's Swiss coach Christian Gross usually plays with a lone striker.

Boutaib has previously played for several French clubs, including Strasbourg, where he had a brief spell in the 2016/17 season.

He made 20 appearances with Morocco, scoring eight goals including one in an exciting 2-2 draw with Spain at last year's World Cup in Russia, when he robbed Sergio Ramos, broke clear and fired home.

After 18 matches, Zamalek currently lead the Egyptian Premier League table with 45 points, 6 points ahead of second-placed Pyramids FC.

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