Abou-Treika predicts bright Egypt future for Shikabala

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 12 Jan 2011

Mohamed Abou-Treika says his Egypt teammate Shikabala is the next big thing

Shikabala & Abou-Treika

Mohamed Abou-Treika, one of Egypt’s greatest ever footballers, believes temperamental forward Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabala’ has the potential to be a huge success with the Pharaohs.

Shikabala is often criticised for failing to make the most of his undoubted talent due to childish tantrums that cost him dearly over the past few years.

His commitment to the Egyptian national team was also brought into question after he allegedly feigned injury to skip several international games, including the disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Sierra Leone in the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in September last year.

Shikabala even announced his retirement from international football last month, but backed down after Egypt coach Hassan Shehata named the 24-year-old in the team’s squad for the Nile Basin friendly tournament.

“Shikabala is a strong addition to Egypt’s squad. I believe that he will play a big role with the national team during the coming period,” Abou-Treika, who played alongside Shikabala in the Nile Basin tournament, said in a television interview.

“He is a very skilful player who shoulders the fans’ hopes for the success of Egypt. I hope that I can play with him in many games in the future.”

Ahly playmaker Abou-Treika is one of Egypt’s most reliable players, with his deft passes and decisive goals helping the team to two African Cup of Nations titles in 2006 and 2010.

Shikabala is adored by the fans of his club Zamalek, Ahly arch-rivals, but he is yet to make his mark on the international stage.

“The role of Egypt’s veteran players is to pass on their experience to the youngsters,” Abou-Treika added.

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