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Zaki happy with Egypt return, hails Al-Salmiya impact

Zamalek and Wigan former hitman Amr Zaki is grateful to his new club for helping him rejoin the Pharaohs

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 27 Aug 2013
Amr Zaki in action for Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt striker Amr Zaki is happy to rejoin the Egyptian national team, hailing his new club Al-Salmiya SC for being a main reason he regained his fitness.

On Sunday, the 30-year-old attacker was recalled by American coach Bob Bradley, alongside eight other foreign-based players, for a training camp ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Guinea.

"I am happy to rejoin the national team again after a long absence," Zaki was quoted as saying by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan on Tuesday.

Zaki joined the Kuwaiti Al-Salmiya SC this summer after a long spell as a free agent. The move eventually contributed to his return to the Pharaohs squad.  

Released by Turkish side Elazigspor in January, the former Zamalek and Wigan hitman was not included in recent squads because he had not played with a club since February.

"I want to thank the technical staff, the management, and my teammates at Al-Salmiya for helping me regain my fitness during the pre-season," the player said on his Facebook page.

Zaki made his debut in Egypt's senior team in 2004, guiding them to victory in the African Nations Cup in 2006 and 2008.

Under Bradley's guidance, Egypt will start a closed camp on 1 September in preparation for the Guinea clash.

The Pharaohs -- who topped Group G and secured their place in the final qualifying round of the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil -- are scheduled to play their last round against Guinea on 10 September. The holders of three successive African Nations Cups -- 2006, 2008 and 2010 -- Egypt are bidding for their first qualification ticket since 1990 to the prestigious World Cup challenge.

The African draw for the final round, featuring the 10 group winners, will be held on 16 September in Cairo.

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