Last updated: 16 October, 2013

Egypt star Abou Trika to retire

Veteran Egyptian football star Mohamed Abou Trika will retire this year, Al-Ahly TV reported on Wednesday.

The club channel said the 34-year-old midfielder would quit when Ahly complete their 2013 CAF Champions League campaign.

They play Cameroon visitors Coton Sport on Sunday in the return match of a semi-final, having drawn the first leg 1-1 in central Africa.

Should Ahly qualify, they would face Esperance of Tunisia or Orlando Pirates of South Africa in a two-legged final during November.

Among the greatest African footballers never to play in Europe, Abou Trika scored for Egypt in their humiliating 6-1 defeat by Ghana on Tuesday in a World Cup Africa zone play-off.

Abou Trika has long dreamt of competing at a World Cup tournament with the last of two appearances by the ‘Pharaohs’ 23 years ago at Italia 90.

He joined Tersana (Arsenal) aged 12 and spent 14 years with the unfashionable Cairo club before moving to record seven-time African champions Ahly.

The offensive midfielder and first-choice penalty-taker for his club and country was part of the 2006 and 2008 Africa Cup of Nations-winning squads.

African football body CAF voted him the best footballer on the continent three times and he will be remembered not just for his skills and goals, but also his sportsmanship.

A Cairo University graduate with a philosophy degree, Abou Trika lives with his wife and three children in the Egyptian capital.