Egypt star Abou-Treika to hang up his boots

Mahmoud Elassal, Thursday 17 Oct 2013

Ahram Online looks back on the career of iconic Ahly and Egypt playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika who will retire at the end of the season

Egypt and Ahly icon Mohamed Abou-treika (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt and Ahly playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika is set to quit football after Ahly finish their current campaign.

"Winning the African Champions League and playing in the Club World Cup in Morocco then goodbye to football and many thanks to all," Abou-Treika said via Twitter on Thursday.

Ahly are favourite to win their Champions League semifinal after securing a 1-1 away draw with Cameroon's Coton Sport in the first leg. They are also favourite to take a record eighth African title that will earn them qualification to the Club World Cup in Morocco in December.

The announcement came after Egypt's 6-1 defeat to Ghana in the World Cup playoff in Kumasi on Tuesday.

Abou-Treika, who will turn 35 in November, had hoped to play for the Pharaohs in their first World Cup since 1990.

The iconic midfielder, who had glorious career, dreamt of making it to the world's most prestigious tournament after missing out in 2006 and 2010.

He kept motivating his teammates to seize “his last opportunity” to play in the World Cup but that dream now seems over. The three-time African-based Player of the Year hopes to find some consolation by playing in the Club World Cup.

A decade of glory

After joining Ahly from Tersana in January 2004, Abou-Treika was an inspiration for both Ahly and Egypt in their golden age.

He won 22 trophies with the Red Devils, including four Champions League titles and a bronze medal at the Club World Cup in 2006.

The Magician, as he is known in Egypt, helped the Pharaohs win two African Cup of Nations titles in 2006 and 2008, playing 98 times and scoring 38 goals.

He scored some historic goals for Egypt and Ahly including the Pharaohs’ winning penalty in the 2006 CAN final against Ivory Coast 0-0 (4-3 on penalties), the winner in the 1-0 victory over Cameroon in the 2008 CAN final, a stunner for Ahly against Sfaxien in the 2006 Champions League final and a late winner against Club America (2-1) in the third place playoff at the 2006 Club World Cup.

He has been dubbed "The Smiling Assassin" by foreign media because of his two main trademarks: goalscoring and smiling, which made him one of the most popular players in Africa.

Abou-Treika’s scintillating displays were highly regarded on the local and continental stage.

One of Egypt's best ever players, he made the shortlist for the 2006 CAF African Footballer of the Year award and was only beaten by Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor in 2008.

He won the Africa-based Player of the Year award in 2006, 2008 and 2012.

Ahly’s legendary number 22 hopes to end his career in Morocco on a high note.

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