Ahly's Mohamed Barakat (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef hails his players for an outstanding performance in Friday's large 5-1 win over ENPPI and insists he will not let star Mohamed Barakat go.
The Red Devils, who had ensured their progress to the league's final phase, have extended their lead on top of group A with 33 points.
"I want to thank all my players who exerted extraordinary effort to secure that large win against ENPPI, that remains a great team, despite the defeat," Youssef declared on television after the match.
"The players were lucky enough and they made the best of the opportunities that opened against a strong opponent," he added.
Despite recent rumours that he will retire from football by the end of the current season, midfield star Mohamed Barakat was in top form after scoring twice in Friday's win.
"Barakat was marvellous; he managed to cover for the absence of his injured teammates. Today he began a new era in his career with Ahly and I will do my best to keep him," the recently-appointed head coach added.
10 days determine Barakat's future
Barakat, who arrived to Ahly in the summer of 2004, became one of the club's icons, helping the club win seven league titles and four Champions League titles.
Several reports suggested recently that the veteran midfielder, whose contract with the club will expire this summer, will retire, but he insisted that he is yet to decide his future.
"The large win is more important for me than scoring twice against ENPPI," Barakat said after the match.
"I will decide whether I will retire or will remain playing football within 10 days.
"I will never play for another club in Egypt other than Ahly. Playing for one of the Gulf clubs could be a possibility but I haven't decided yet," he concluded.
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