Mohamed Aboutrika (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt midfielder Mohamed Abou-Treika on Saturday expressed his pleasure over joining UAE side Bani Yas.
"I want to thank my teammates for the warm welcome and I hope I can contribute to the club's success," the 34-year-old Ahly player said as he began his six-month, $1.2-million loan spell with the Gulf team.
"I know everything about the Emirati league," 2012's best Africa-based player added. "I've been following it closely since the arrival of Egyptian teammates Mahmoud Abdel-Razek [Wasl], Hosni Abd-Rabou [Ahly Dubai] and Mohamed Zidan [Bani Yas]."
The Emirati club said it planned to contact the Egyptian national team's technical staff to allow Abou-Treika to miss a planned friendly match against Chile to allow him to prepare for 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The player, who refused to participate in the last Egypt Super Cup out of respect for the victims of last year's Port Said stadium disaster, chose to wear jersey number 72 – to commemorate the 72 fans killed in the tragedy – during his stint with Bani Yas.
The Egyptian Premier League finally began on Saturday following a one-year football stoppage in the wake of the Port Said disaster.
Bani Yas coach Jozef Chovanec heaped praise upon the veteran schemer, underlining his importance to the team.
"The arrival of someone of that calibre will boost the team. He is the kind of player who we can rely on in difficult times. His experience will be a great asset," he said.
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