Abou-Treika, one of the cult figures among Ahly’s faithful, hinted that he may be leaving the club. In his hugely successful seven-year spell with the Egyptian champions, the artist has steered Ahly to a host of domestic and continental titles.
But speaking to Ahly’s television channel ahead of the anticipated CAF Champions League encounter against Tunisian Esperance, Abou-Treika said that “change is one of the natural elements of life. Every person,” he added, fuelling speculation, “bases his decisions on his interests at every stage of his life. The decision whether to stay or leave will not be taken by me alone. I have to find out whether my staying will benefit the club during the next period. The club’s technical staff will have the final say. Meanwhile, I’m happy and I’m doing my best to please the fans supporting us everywhere.”
Egyptian international Abou-Treika joined Ahly in January 2004 as part of a squad overhaul that eventually helped the Red Devils regain their supremacy in Egypt and Africa. A classic playmaker, the 32-year-old’s deft through passes and decisive goals played a key role in Ahly winning seven consecutive Egyptian Premier League and three Champions League titles, among other accolades.
In the last two seasons Abou-Treika was not in top form, and it was suggested that he could no longer keep up with the physical demands of playing at the top level. Recent reports said that Ittihad Jeddah were in the process of organising a big-money bid to acquire Abou-Treika’s services but Ahly denied that they received any offer from the Saudi giants.
“I know nothing about the offer,” Abou-Treika himself declared. “I have no more information than everybody else.”