Egypt's out-of-favour striker Zaki completes move to Arab Contractors

Ahram Online , Saturday 10 Jan 2015

Amr Zaki
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)

Amr Zaki has completed a move to Egyptian Premier League side Arab Contractors to reunite with former Egypt coach Hassan Shehata, the player said on Saturday.

"I have today penned a one-and-a-half year deal with Arab Contractors. My deal will run until June 2015," Zaki said on his Instagram account.

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.

However, his last international appearance was in November 2013 when he was on target in Egypt's 2-1 victory over Ghana, which condemned them to a 7-3 aggregate defeat in a World Cup qualifying playoff.

Zaki  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 said recently. 

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