Towards the end of the last decade, the skilful playmaker was dogged by nagging knee injuries, but Aboutrika stands alone as the most exceptional Egyptian player of the 2000-2009 period.

His performances for the Pharaohs, as well as his club, Al-Ahly, have been consistently impressive, helping the Cairene giants lift their fifth domestic championship in a row this year, with three African Champions Leagues under his belt as well.

A bronze medal at the 2006 Club World Cup with Ahly was the closest an African team have come to the final of that competition.

The ‘Smiling Assassin’ was the architect of his country’s two successive Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2006 and 2008. With over 100 goals for Ahly, and 22 strikes for the national team, Aboutrika is a legend and a deserving member of Goal Africa’s Team of the Decade.

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