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He Walked Away Like An Egyptian – The Return Of Amr Zaki


While The Pharaohs secure passage into the quarter-finals in Angola attempting to defend their African crown, one of their brightest sons is making a highly anticipated return to Old Blighty after a somewhat maligned exit. This time around, Amr Zaki will attempt his goal scoring prowess a few hours down the M62 from Wigan towards the North Sea and end up with relegation-fighting Hull City Football Club on a five month loan deal. For the next few weeks, he’ll only be able to watch his countrymen from an ‘iffy internet stream face Africa’s best a continent away.

Zamalek teammate and former Premier League player Mido was also unexpectedly left out of the 23-man squad whose only hope for a trophy this year will be to defend the African Cup of Nations as Egypt missed out on World Cup qualification yet again (the Pharaohs haven’t participated since 1990). A lack of match fitness has been cited as reason for Zaki’s exclusion in the squad.

As for Zaki’s exit from Wigan, the Egyptian was on record last summer criticizing Wigan for not accepting a payoff from then suitors Aston Villa. The payoff would have allowed Zaki the freedom to sign for Martin O’Neill thus scrapping his original loan deal from Zamalek. Zaki had a falling out with then Wigan gaffer Steve Bruce after multiple fines from returning late to the Latics from international duty. Bruce was famously quoted as labeling Zaki as the most unprofessional player he has ever managed.

As for Zaki’s return, most will remember his blazing start to last season scoring 11 goals in his first 18 appearances before his form eventually took a nose dive. Zaki has vowed to stay out of trouble to the accepting ears of Hull City chairman Adam Pearson. The reported fee Hull City splashed for the Egyptian striker ranges from “a significant loan fee” to “£400,000” in hopes Zaki will help the Tigers fight the drop.

Amr Zaki on good form and with a good attitude will be an asset for Hull City. He’s a strong, proven goal scorer with a natural instinct to know where he’s at when he receives the ball. He’s got a perfect body build to compete with equally strong Premier League centre-backs. He’s a player that has the skill and ability to have a future in the Premier League. As an admirer of his goals from last term, here’s hoping he continues to make good on his potential this time around. If I haven’t convinced you yet, make sure to check out a few of his best from his Wigan days.

Also, what does this mean for on-loan American striker Jozy Altidore? Will he continue to receive vital playing time for Hull City in hopes he’ll come good on his potential? Or, has Altidore’s spot been claimed by the proven Premier League goal scorer Zaki?

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on Zaki’s return to the Premier League.

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  1. mohamed

    July 7, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Amr is a good player….but he has to be more intellegent…..

  2. ahmad

    February 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I am an Egyptian and I disagree with Zaki’s actions because Avram grant is not Israel is not Avram gramt and Algerians are nice people they are just a little funny in the head when they are in threoes of Berberism(just loking) so I have individuals of any country but I donot buy products made in Israel because of my objection to what they do in palestine

  3. RK

    January 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Shame on Hull for signing a well known racist and anti-semitic player, I have lost all respect I had for this club, I hope they go down this season (by the way, no I am not jewish or related or affiliated to anybody jewish, I am just against racists)

  4. dbm

    January 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    It was a joke! Of course I don’t believe someone like Zaki would be on “Jihad” (he makes way too much money). Was just taking a shot at Zaki because of his stance against Israelis and Algerians. It was only meant to offend Zaki and I doubt he reads these boards.

    I do not condone what Zaki said but I kind of understand it from his perspective. He might be worried about how Egyptians would react to him joining a team with with Israelis and Algerians. His statements probably made him a hero to the average Egyptian. Back to the real world: yes he was wrong to say that and yes it does look bad that FIFA promotes an anti racism campaign but yet players like Zaki still inhabit some of the highest leagues in Europe. He is still an idiot whether he feels strongly about his convictions or was just putting on a show with his statements.

  5. Jesse

    January 20, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Let’s keep in mind that football is a business and Adam Pearson and Phil Brown both have alot on the line this year as Hull City face relegation. They need goals.

    Has anyone kept an open mind through all this and realized that maybe us football fans don’t have the entire story? How do we know the suits at HC didn’t sit Zaki down and discuss his actions from last year? – Then giving him an exact blueprint on how he’s to behave while at HC. ????

    Sure, Zaki is probably a loudmouth, bonehead, etc., etc., – call him what you will. But he’s also a proven goal scorer in the best football league in the world. HC need goals – Period!

    I admire readers of EPL Talk who have taken a stand against racisim and trust me, I’m right there with you, and I agree that his comments are shocking and have no place in football. Thank you for letting your voice be heard, but it’s too early to write off a footballer and a football club on comments that were made a year ago and could have been taken out of context. We all know footballers aren’t the most well spoken individuals.

    Also, doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? Time will tell if Zaki belongs in the Premier League, ultimately his form will speak louder than any comments. If he says anything else of a racist nature, sure, he should go, and I’ll be the first to report it. But for now, HC have taken a calulated risk on a player that needs to watch his mouth and focus on his football.

  6. Ben

    January 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm


    If an Israeli refused to play with an Egyptian or a Palestinian or an Iranian… (you get the point) it would be abhorrent. He would be pilloried throughout the world and rightfully so. It’s a shame that in Egypt such behavior is accepted.


    I did not reply to DBM’s comment because it is fruitless. I would suspect that he knows that his is racist and has no problem with it.

    Moreover, you are correct, you did not say what your stance on any boycott is, but you did choose to use loaded words such as ‘apartheid’ while describing the situation which do not have a place on a soccer blog.

  7. Ezzat

    January 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    (excuse my english )
    I don’t know how you define anti-semitic in western countries!.Here in Egypt we don’t have a problem with israeli because he is jewish but because his country is occupation force in Palestine and other arab countries .before 1948 Jewish people lived in Egypt in peace even at WW2 alot of jewish escaped from euope an came to egypt ….but Egyptian nowdays only know that Israel occupied Sianai of Egypt in 1967 ,excuted unarmed Egyptian prisoners of war even targted civilian targets like schools and hospitals .About 100000 Egyptians was killed because of israel in the last 50 years.So I think it is copletely understandable if I said simply we don’t like them!..maybe Zaki himself -like many other Egyptians -lost father or brother in war with it bacame personal issue for him.

    according to the algerian ..Zaki denied any press statment about that..even he joined Hullcity to be with Algerian Ghilas

  8. josh

    January 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    also i’m pretty sure dbm’s comment was the racist one, not to fan the flames but why aren’t you replying to him?

  9. josh

    January 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    i don’t condone racism. i’m against it with everyone bone in my body. but there is an international cultural boycott – so soccer would be included. i don’t know if thats what amr zaki was doing but its premature to accuse him of racism because lots of people boycott israeli music/whatever hoping to pressure them to end apartheid in the same way south africa was pressured by international boycott. i didn’t even say what my stance is on boycott so its premature to say my comment was racist, i’m just trying to put zaki’s decision into context. (the fact that egypt has fought a number of wars with israel might have something to do with it as well). its fair for me to comment on his comments if you do, i think.

  10. Ben

    January 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Unless Josh replies to the comments from Pathetic Hull he should delete his post. This is a soccer blog, not a place for someone to make controversial statements that seem to condone blatant racism.

  11. Rob Marrs

    January 19, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    An over-rated player and a pretty shoddy person re: his views on Grant, Belhadj and Ben Haim. After a blistering start at Wigan went rubbish.


  12. James Dunn

    January 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    The Guardian also say Hull are talking to Mido. That would really doom Altidore. It is the Guardian though…

  13. josh

    January 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    to be fair there is an international cultural boycott against israel in an attempt to end apartheid policies against non-jews in israel and the west bank/gaza. so its possible zaki was just showing solidarity for that. the algerian comment is a little harder to understand however but egypt did end diplomatic relationships with algeria after their qualifying battle in cairo and khartoum because of the (perceived?) violence, and egyptians have VERY strong national identities so again this kind of comment is maybe expected, though i don’t agree with it

    • Pathetic Hull

      January 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      BS! Read his comments again and try to explain how your rationalized argument makes any sense:

      “After Portsmouth signed an Israeli player (Ben-Haim) and also hired an Israeli football director (Grant) a possible move was ruled out.

      “On top of that, no way could I play at Portsmouth with an Algerian (Belhadj) within their ranks.”

      That’s not a political statement, which is what you are suggesting. What does Ben Haim or Grant have to do with the Israeli government? Why does the Israeli government care if Zaki plays for Portsmouth? The guy is not a political spokesman, he’s a footballer. And a racist one at that. Your argument is specious (if not ridiculous).

  14. dbm

    January 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Better make sure he comes back from Jihad on time or that’s a weeks pay!

  15. FredTheRed

    January 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Yeah, you can’t miss out the fact that he is a racist bigot, with an ego problem. I think it’s a disgraceful signing. How is he allowed to spout all this crap with no sanctions. I hope he breaks his leg in his debut, the backward thinking moron.

    • James Dunn

      January 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      Zaki is a douche. And his history should have been better covered in this crap article. Scoring goals doesn’t excuse mental problems. I’m pretty sure Hitler scored a goal once. I really hope Hull get relegated and go into administration.

  16. Jon

    January 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Thats why Egypt not in the World cup. They have good players but when they about to reach their goal, they ruin it by stupid details.

  17. Pathetic Hull

    January 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Nice going Hull, signing a racist, anti-semitic a-hole. Well done. Good message. I hope Hull are relegated to the bottom of English football. This is close to unforgivable. To remind you of Zaki’s true beliefs:

    “After Portsmouth signed an Israeli player (Ben-Haim) and also hired an Israeli football director (Grant) a possible move was ruled out.

    “On top of that, no way could I play at Portsmouth with an Algerian (Belhadj) within their ranks.”

    And Hull is happy to sign the guy! I guess all those billboards about getting rid of racism in football didn’t really mean much after all.

    • Pathetic Hull

      January 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Oh, and Jesse, nice omission of Zaki’s history in your “story.” Very complete and thoughtful. Pathetic.

  18. jmansor

    January 19, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Hmmm, things are looking good for Jozy. He just doesn’t seem to be able to live up to the hype. I hope I am wrong though. If Clint Dempsey is out for the WC we will need Jozy to play well even more.

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