Here, a BBC interview with Egypt's Mohamed Aboutrika ahead of receiving the BBC African Footballer of the Year award. Interesting when he says he'd like to play for a top European club some day ...
To read the full interview, please click above.
Inas Mazhar: What does it mean to you to win the BBC African Footballer of the Year Award?
Mohamed Aboutrika: Of course this award is a prize, a wonderful present to me. Egyptian players have been nominees in the last few years - I remember seeing my teammate Mohamed Barakat win it too. Also, two years ago I remember when I was in the nominees for the BBC's African Footballer of the Year and reached second position. Luckily this year I came top of the list and won it. It's an honour for both Egyptian football and my club Al Ahly, I am very happy to be the winner for this year's edition.
What was 2008 like for you, with the Nations Cup and the Champions League with Al Ahly?Aboutrika: 2008 was a tremendous year. It started in the best possible way when we were crowned champions of Africa for the sixth time and ended with a victorious African Champions league season, which I believe we rightly deserved.Overall it was an opportunity for me and my team-mates to play attractive football and be a showcase for Egyptian football across the world.
What can you achieve with Egypt in the future, in 2010?
Aboutrika: We're going to be put to the test with the challenges of our international duties coming up. Going to South Africa for the Confederations Cup won't be an easy ride and it couldn't get more intense as we're reaching the final stages of the World Cup qualifiers. We're expecting fierce competition with our group opponents. Our ultimate aim will most definitely be reaching the 2010 World Cup finals.
You've recently turned down an offer to play professionally in Saudi Arabia and to remain with Al Ahly. What do you think about your career with Al Ahly?
As long as my "flame of goals" is still lit and glowing I will keep playing football. I'll keep pushing myself to the max. Once that flair has gone, then there will be a time where I will have to stop and realise I've worked hard, achieved my goals and dreams, and say farewell to the game, to the world of football. But so far my goals are still alive - for both my club and my national team.
You've received many offers also to play in Europe, but why have we never seen you in Europe?
Aboutrika: I've received many offers from many clubs but most of them were not honourable enough for my club to consider. However I do still have the desire to excel and play for a big team in Europe, and as long as the offer is sufficient enough for Al Ahly I believe they won't prevent me from leaving and achieving one of my wishes in football.