Zaki to reunite with mentor Shehata at Arab Contractors

Karim Farouk , Saturday 20 Dec 2014

Egypt's Amr Zaki (front-L) celebrates with coach Hassan Shehata (R) after scoring a goal against Zambia during their 2010 World Cup African zone group C qualifying football match in Cairo on March 29, 2009 (Photo: AFP)

Former Egypt striker Amr Zaki is set to join Arab Contractors when the transfer window reopens next January, coach Hassan Shehata said on Saturday. 

"Amr Zaki will arrive on 24 December to undergo medical tests and officially sign the contract, if he doesn't suffer from any serious injuries," Shehata, under whom the burly striker blossomed with the Egyptian national team, told Nile Sport.

The 31-year-old has been struggling with injuries over the past two years and has been offloaded by Turkish side Elazigspor, Raja of Morocco and finally Lebanese side Al-Ahed.

Zaki was unleashed by Shehata in 2006 when the then Egypt coach brought him on against Senegal to score a crucial winner and take Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations following a 2-1 victory.

It was an unforgettable scene as Shehata won his bet seconds after being involved in an altercation with unhappy substitute Ahmed Hossam "Mido".

Zaki, who bagged 30 goals in 63 games for Egypt, was a key member of a hugely-successful Egyptian side in the late 2000s, helping the Pharaohs win two straight African Nations Cups titles in 2006 and 2008. 

He rose to stardom when he joined Wigan Ahletic in 2008, scoring 10 Premier League goals in the first half of the season.

But he fell out of favour with then coach Steve Bruce because of disciplinary reasons and was eventually released by the Latics. His career then went on a downward slide.

"Zaki will be a very important asset for the team, given his physical and technical abilities in addition to his big experience," Shehata added.

The 65-year-old tactician took over at lowly side Arab Contractors last month and is seeking to rebuild the squad in their survival quest.

He has already signed another former international, midfielder Mohamed Shawky who has also featured in Egypt's successes in 2006 and 2008 before spending the past few years in Iraq and Malaysia.

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