Egypt and Al-Ahly defender, Wael Gomaa has announced he will hang his boots at the end of the current season.
The 38-year old, who has won several titles at both local and international levels, admits he “cannot to deliver as expected”, hence the decision to call it a day after a career spanning more than two decades.
Emotions got the best of him as Gomaa was soaked in tears, taking everyone by surprise by making public a statement that was the least expected after winning his sixth CAF Super Cup with the ‘Red Devils’.
“This is a good moment for me to announce that I cannot continue to be playing as expected. I cannot continue after the current season,” a teary Gomaa told the press after the game.
Moments with Ahly
The central defender joined the Cairo-based club in 2001 after eight years with Ghazl El-Mahalla, going on to cement his place as one of the most reliable defenders the ‘red’ faithfuls ever saw.
“The happiest day in my life was joining Ahly. And I’m much happier to be bowing out on a winning note. Playing for Ahly remains a special moment for me,” he noted with over 400 appearances under his name with the 36-time Egyptian champions.
His stint with Ahly marks arguably the most memorable and successful in their history, winning all there was on the domestic and international fronts. Gomaa and his generation won scores of titles and further cemented the ‘Red Devils’ status as the most decorated on the continent.
Ahly won six CAF Champions League titles, six CAF Super Cups, seven Egyptian League crowns, three Egyptian Cups and six Egyptian Super Cups during the 13-years Gomaa has been at the club; a feat which will remain the envy of many a clubs worldwide.
“This generation will rank as the best generation in the history of Ahly. We worked hard and always remain committed to the objectives of the club. We always wanted to make the fans and we did that many times,” Gomaa spoke of his generation which starred the likes of Essam El Hadary, Mohamed Aboutreika, Mohamed Barakat, Shady Mohamed amongst others.
Time with Pharaohs
The central defender has raked in over centurion of appearances with the Egypt national team since 2001, playing in five successive Africa Cup of Nations [2002,2004,2006,2008, 2010], and was an integral part of the team that won a hat-trick of African titles [2006,2008,2010].
However, Gomaa never had the chance to play at the Mundial, after several unsuccessful attempts. The closest the Pharaohs came was reaching the playoffs of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, only to lose to Ghana 7-3 on aggregate.
Tribute to a legend
It was no other than Ahly coach, Mohamed Youssef, who paid glowing tribute the huge defender, by making an interjection during the press conference.
“Gomaa is a player every coach would like to have. He remains one of the greatest defenders in the history of Egyptian football. He gave to Ahly even more than he did for his family.
“The story of Ahly and Egyptian football will never be complete without the name of Gomaa. As one of the finest defenders ever, Africa football can never forget Gomaa,” an emotion-filled Youssef said.
Egypt coach, Shawky Gharib also remarked “a salute to the legend Wael Gomaa. He is one of the best players I’ve ever played with. I wish you luck in any field you choose.”
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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