WARRIORS and former Caps United forward Abbas Amidu has opened up on why he turned down lucrative deals offered by some of the continental powerhouses and others from the Gulf to end up at El Entag El Harby of Egypt.
By Henry Mhara/FootballCult
Amidu was one of the stars for the Green Machine when they won the domestic league in 2016, before defying the odds in the Caf Champions League where they reached the competition’s group stages.
In that extraordinary run, he scored three goals, including a memorable brace against former Caf Champions League winners Zamalek, a performance that impressed the Egyptians, and USM Alger of Algeria.
Zamalek reportedly tabled a huge offer for the star to ward off interest from domestic rivals Al Ahly, as well as clubs from other Arab nations who were ready for a bidding war.
However, the Aces Youth Soccer Academy product chose El Entag El Harby.
“Sometimes money is not everything. When you are in football the key is to know what is right for you and the key is to have a vision. After that you can do things step by step. The club (El Entag El Harby) had good terms and I decided to join them because it felt like the right move for me at this stage of my career,” he told the FootballCult website.
The 27-year-old star is one of the three Caps United players who were snapped up by foreign clubs after producing inspired individual performances, with Ronald Chitiyo joining a Tunisian club while Ronald Pfumbidzai went down south.
Amidu is settling well at his new club and hasn’t had any difficulties in adapting to the new environment and getting new friends.
“The type of football here in Egypt is different because they play with high intensity and focus more on pressing. But I’m enjoying my game here. The Egyptian League is exciting because this is the type of football that suits me. I’m closer to Moussa Diawara from Guinea and Abu from Ghana. Since we are all foreigners, we get along well and this has helped me get used to the new environment.”
Amidu says competing in the Caf Champions League and later the Confederations Cup, where they despatched Congolese giants TP Mazembe who went on to win the title, will linger in his memory forever.
“All the leagues are really good, it’s just that at Makepekepe playing in the Champions League group stages for the first time was special and it was another level of enjoyment for the players and the fans. Now I’m using all the experience I have from playing in South African and Zimbabwean leagues as well as the Caf Champions League. Since playing in the Champions League last season and scoring goals against TP Mazembe, Zamalek and USM Alger, my game has changed because I kept setting targets and kept working harder to achieve my goals. All this has been made possible because of my discipline. The experience now extends to the Egyptian League, so the key is to keep learning and working harder.”
Amidu believes a Zimbabwean team will in the near future win the continent’s premier club competition.
“I had hopes that Caps United would win the Champions League because we had the hunger and the ability. You never know in football, but I believe a team from Zimbabwe will one day win the Caf Champions League.”
When he left, Caps United were struggling in the domestic league, as their participation in the Caf Champions League took its toll.
But the Lloyd Chitembwe-coached side, despite dealing with a congested fixture schedule, eventually finished fifth on the log standings.
They also managed to beat all the teams that finished above them on the standings, which Amidu says is an indication that they could have done well had it not been for the burden that comes with playing in Africa.
“Maybe the games were too many and Caps failed to deal with two tough competitions at the same time. But even though they finished fifth we should look at how they came back from 13th place in the league. Makepekepe also beat all the title contenders this year and not just FC Platinum (champions), so I am happy for them.”