Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday May 23 2009
Wigan Athletic, Zamalek and Egypt striker Amr Zaki has given a statement to the press from his home in Egypt in an effort to get his side of a very complex story across, but more importantly the player is also saying his goodbyes and giving his thanks to the Latics and the fans that adored him from the moment he arrived in Wigan
Over to Amr Zaki:
'A lot of things have been said about me over this season, so I thought I would like to make a few things clear.'
"It goes without saying that I have enjoyed every second of my time in the Premier league. I would like to thank Steve Bruce and Wigan FC for giving me the stage to show the world what I can do at the highest level of professional football.
'It is a family club and as well as the Chairman Mr Whelan, Brenda Spencer the chief executive, I would like to thank the fans, who made me so at home there.
"Its true that the second half of the season did not go as well as I would have liked and that there have been some undeserved comments thrown my way.
"A huge thing was made of my late return from international duty. I can understand the club fining me for the times I was late back, something i regret, but the culture and professionalism of football in England is something i had never experienced before but I will know next time and have learnt a great lesson. For this I am sorry.
"The players here in my home country don't realise how relaxed it is here in Egypt.
"I am glad that my goals have helped Wigan remain in the Premier league. Although some were penalties, without them where would they be in the league, so I feel I have been great value for them.
"I also feel that every game that I took part in that I always give my best. The goals I scored in the first half of the season came from team play but as a striker if the team is not creating going forward it will minimise the chances you get.
"One player in particular left in January, Palacios, I felt it had an impact on our attacking play. Of course I would have liked to score more goals but i need the ball in and around the box to do so. But as a footballer I have learned so much from Steve Bruce and Eric Black and I want more.
'Apparently, it has been reported in the press that I had personal problems. Could any one fill me in as to what these problems were as it baffles me.
"Wigan was a great experience for me but now I must take the step up to the next level and look forward and decide what my next move will be along with my fantastic agent, Nader Shawky. I'm still Zamalek player and its normal to back now to my parent club who will discuss any upcoming offers. But I still wish the best for Latics tomorrow against Portsmouth and in next season as well.
"The press and the media can manipulate stories and quotes to make it sound however they want, Steve Bruce can also have his thoughts. But, Amr Zaki went to the Premiership and scored 10 goals for Wigan in 22 starts. Almost a 1 in 2 ratio. Defoe for Spurs 11 goals, Adebayor for Arsenal 10 goals, Drogba at Chelsea 5 goals. 10 for Wigan not bad.
"Now is a time for concentrating on our World Cup Qualifiers and the Confederation Cup with Egypt. We are 2006, 2008 African Champions and we are going to prove our worth in the Confederation Cup next month."
Thanks to Emad and AmrZaky.com for the story
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Date:Saturday May 23 2009
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