Egypt to launch bid round in March for gold exploration in Eastern Desert : official    Saudi-led coalition says foiled Red Sea attack by Yemen's Houthis    Iran's leader says fears of new virus used to stifle voting    Milan coach Pioli angry after draw with Fiorentina    Real boss Zidane pessimistic about Hazard injury ahead of vital week    Juventus coach Sarri angry over VAR confusion    Japan to continue developmental support for Egypt, prioritising education: Ambassador    70th Berlinale kicks off with My Salinger Year starring Sigourney Weaver    Egypt discusses cooperation with Greece to promote antiquities' replicas    COVID-19 toll reaches 2,360 deaths, 77,700 infections so far    HHD receives 4 offers for its management    El Sewedy Electric reported strong performance led by turnkey segment    Madbouly joins high-level African judiciary meeting on terrorism    Egypt's Sisi stresses commitment to success of Ethiopian dam negotiations    South Sudan president reappoints rebel leader Machar in unity government    Al-Sisi discusses enhancing commercial cooperation with Chile    Sinai Hotels opens Nuweiba Club Resort in South Sinai    Egypt to resume natural gas exports to Jordan    Japan secures $83,708 to support Egypt women empowerment    Egypt central bank keeps key interest rates unchanged    Egypt's Ghada Wali sworn in as UN Office on Drugs and Crime executive head    Mashrabia Gallery participates in 1-54 African Contemporary Art Fair Marrakech 2020 ( 22-23 February)    Korean pianist and fluitist perform classical music at the Cairo Opera    Cairo court acquits Mubarak's sons of stock market manipulation    Egypt seeks justice, development for Africa: PM    Emirates Airline partners with Arab Hope Makers Initiative to build Magdi Yacoub Heart Centre in Cairo    Soma Bay to host Golf Gourmet Week with 150 international golfers    Second coronavirus patient dies in Italy: Ansa news agency    Egypt court acquits Alaa and Gamal Mubarak of the 'stock market manipulation' case    Candidates linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards leading in election in capital    South Korea says coronavirus cases more than double, total now 433    Saudi Red Sea Film Festival announces lineup    Berlinale celebrates 70 years with return to political roots    Egypt court reverses order to release activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah from detention    South Korea announces first coronavirus death    Sudan to host 14th Nile Day in Khartoum on Saturday    Pompeo says Ethiopia-Egypt massive dam dispute could take months    Man behind cut, copy and paste shortcuts dies aged 74    Al Ahly play Zamalek for Egypt Super Cup in Abu Dhabi    Egypt's PM appoints Ahmed El-Sobky as head of General Healthcare Authority    Little Women on its way to become a classic    UEFA Champions League: defending champions Liverpool clash with Atletico Madrid    Sharm El Sheikh receives 2 UK flights in 4 years    Zamalek dominate Africa from Doha    Chinese Grand Prix likely to be called off amid coronavirus concerns    Egypt's Golden Age actress, Nadia Lutfi, dies at 83    Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna die in helicopter crash    Egypt's President Sisi pardons some prisoners on 25 Jan. Revolution anniversary    







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.