When Wigan signed Amr Zaki on loan he was ranked by Fifa as the “World’s best striker”. With 27 goals in 48 games for Egypt you could see why there was some hype around the powerful forward, and with 35/88 for Zamalek the Premier league came calling. Steve Bruce said “He’ll do the business”and to be fair to the forward, for a while, he did. Playing for Wigan Amr Zaki scored 10 crucial goals which helped to keep Wigan up and some were truly spectacular. Just look at his two goals at Anfield below. It would be hard to argue he wasn’t destined for bigger things.
Something clearly went wrong however. After christmas during his Wigan loan spell Zaki was repeatedly missing training and his loan ended seeing him leave for Hull. He didn’t score. This set something of a precedent for Amr, and a bad few years followed. Despite another chance being offered with Portsmouth, Zaki refused to sign because of the presence of Israeli & Algerians at the club. Following reports which questioned his professionalism and this unsavoury reason for declining pompey’s advances, Zaki’s career took a fall. Since 2011 Zaki has scored twice and played for 7 separate clubs.
The man that Egyptians once called the ‘bulldozer’ for his fearsome physique and style of play, has become another sad story of a player who blew his potential.
Stories which are sadly becoming increasingly common in the modern day world of the beautiful game.