Zmalek's player Shikabala (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Controversial Egyptian midfielder Mahmoud Abdel-Razek "Shikabala" hopes he and countryman Mohamed Zidan will make a successful duo in the United Arab Emirates' league next season.
Shikabala joine the UAE side Al-Wasl on a one-year loan worth $1.25 million, it was announced on Thursday.
Three days earlier, UAE's club Baniyas signed Zidan on a two-year deal.
The forward was free to sign for any club during the current summer transfer window following the expiration of contract with Dortmund in June.
"Zidan will add a lot to the UAE league, especially with the vast experience he gained through his career in Europe," Shikabala said in an interview in Saturday's edition of the UAE newspaper Al-Khaleej.
"I am happy that he will be playing with me here. I hope we will be good ambassadors for Egyptian football and we can repeat the successful spell of our countryman Hosni Abd-Rabou who won the UAE's league title with Al-Ahly," he added.
The 26-year old left Zamalek after falling from favour since his famous altercation with former coach Hassan Shehata during a CAF Champions League match in May.
"Shehata is like a father for me and I apologised to him. Playing under his guidance is a proud moment ... he is an icon in Egyptian football," explained Shikabala.
"I decided to leave Zamalek because of the instability that Egyptian football has seen recently. I will return next season to continue my career with the club," added the onetime player for Greece's PAOK.
Shikabala, who is seen as one of Egypt's major talents, believes that his mission in the UAE will not be an easy one. But he is still optimistic about his future under the guidance of French coach Bruno Metsu.
"Al-Wasl is a popular and competitive club. I know I must do to my best to prove my worth here but I think the warm welcome and the atmosphere at the club will help me to adapt quickly," explained the 2010 African Cup of Nations winner.
"My aim is to please Al-Wasl fans by leading the club with victories next season. I am very happy to work with Metsu who is an experienced coach," he said.
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