President Sisi reviews tourism structural reform program with minister of tourism    Trump hails India's Modi for election win    Pentagon confirms weighing more troops for Middle East    No definitive conclusion reached on reports pointing to chemical exposure in Syria attack: US State Department    Qatari president of PSG under graft investigation in France    Egypt's Central Bank maintains interest rates on deposits and loans at 15.75%, 16.25%    72nd Cannes Film Festival: It's all about fresh talents    2019 African Cup of Nations tickets now available for sale: Committee    Egypt's tourism ministry seeks to obtain UNDP's Gender Equality Seal    Houthi targets arms depot at Saudi airport in Najran    Huawei sales will not be affected by Google's suspension of business: MTI    Shoukry, Sadadi convene in Cairo over regional updates    Swiss embassy in Cairo, WorldFish complete YEAG project    12 alleged militants killed in two separate raids in Al-Arish    Fanzir plans to launch 3 projects, open HQ in Egypt: Aljishi    Microfinance portfolio in banks reaches EGP 6.94bn in Q1 of 2019    Four women challenge male-dominated food market in Ramadan    Lack of proper waste management in Egypt causes accumulation of marine plastic litter    Aiisha Ramadan & SADAFA Collaborate for SS'19 Arab Fashion Week    Banking law amendments for capital requirements could trigger profit retention, M&As: Pharos    Al-Karma to publish Tawfik's last short story collection in June    Repatriation: Why Western museums should return African artefacts    Omani author Jokha Alharthi wins prestigious Booker International Prize    Newsreel    Breaking the record    Connected for exams    Pre-emptive strikes    Ahly held by Ismaily to lose two precious points in title race    Amending judicial regulations    Mubarak speaks    Tahya Masr Bridge: Breaking the record    EGP 300 million allocated for poor households, education: Ministry of Religious Endowments    Vaccine doubts spread like disease, must be taken offline: vaccine chief    Omani Writer Jokha Alharthi wins the 2019 Man Booker International Prize    General Prosecutor orders release of five prominent detainees    Egypt name national team's initial squad for AFCON 2019    Messages to Tehran    Mascot revealed, tickets on sale    Only one path to glory    Don't miss Al-Leila Al-Kebira puppet theatre operetta at Al-Hanager Arts Centre    In search of historical women    Why Egypt dominates squash: juniors' training plans, says Khalifa    Twelve alleged militants killed in shootout with police    Malawians vote in tough presidential election    Angry at being dubbed a hustler, Maradona dismisses new film    At Cannes, Arab Cinema Centre announces winners of its 3rd Critics Awards    President Sisi receives citizens for Iftar at his private residence    The alternative economy in Ramadan    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Sports Talk: Aboutrika deserves the best
Published in Daily News Egypt on 23 - 12 - 2006

They told him to stay a while longer on the field because he had been selected as one of the best footballers in the championship. He waited. and waited until he was told sorry, he hadn't won after all.
Deco, Luiz Adriano and Ronaldinho were chosen the three best players in the World Club Championship. Figuratively and literally, Mohamed Aboutrika was left standing in the Japanese cold.
The miscommunication between officials and Aboutrika has yet to be explained but what was communicated was loud and clear: the judges did not vote for Aboutrika.
As embarrassing as it was, the incident might serve as good practice for the Egyptian because it might happen again, this time for the more prestigious title, the African Player of the Year.
In the running for the award Aboutrika, 28, has had an extraordinary year.
At the start of 2006 he helped Egypt win the African Cup of Nations, scoring the last goal in the penalty shootout.
Towards the end of the year, he helped Ahly win their fifth African Champions League with his sensational strike deep into injury time against Tunisia's Sfaxien. In between, he led Ahly to the league title for the second consecutive year, the cup, Egyptian super cup and African super cup.
His brace against Club America gave Ahly a surprising third place in the World Club Championship, a position no African or Arab team has reached in the tournament before.
None of Aboutrika's challengers for the African award have had as super a year. Samuel Eto o was a key member of Spanish side Barcelona that won the Champions League in May. He scored 26 times to finish the top scorer in La Liga.
But Eto'o has been sidelined with injury since September and his Cameroon exited early from the ACN. Eto'o has also won the African award the past three years; it has never happened that somebody has won it four times.
Nwankwo Kanu is second in Premiership goals with nine. But he made no impact with Nigeria, and his club Portsmouth, third a few weeks ago, and currently sixth.
Michael Essien was instrumental in Ghana being the only African country to make it to the second round of the World Cup in Germany. But when it comes to who is more important to Chelsea, Didier Drogba's name is usually mentioned before Essien's.
Drogba's year wasn't exactly dull. He helped Chelsea win their second consecutive Premiership title and has been on fire, leading the English league with 10 goals after 18 games.
After a slow start, Chelsea are currently in second place, two points behind Manchester United, and are into the last eight in the Champions League. Drogba also steered Ivory Coast to the final of the ACN before bowing to Egypt.
Drogba has some advantages over Aboutrika. He went to the World Cup. Aboutrika did not (in fact the Ivory Coast qualified at the expense of Egypt and Cameroon). Though the Ivory Coast did not do as well as was expected, they nevertheless performed admirably, losing 2-1 to heavyweights Argentina and Holland before beating Serbia in consolation.
Drogba plays for a big club in Europe. Aboutrika does not. That difference could make all the difference. Since 1986, no player has won the award plying his trade in Africa. The winners have all been playing on Europe's greens.
Aboutrika is a true talent, a footballer who comes along once every decade. His outstanding year has led many to compare him favorably with Mahmoud El-Khatib who in 1983 became the only Egyptian to be African Player of the Year. Come Jan. 18 when the winner is announced in Nigeria, Aboutrika could be lucky Egyptian No 2.
Let's hope the officials in Abuja are not Japanese.

Clic here to read the story from its source.