He began his football career in the popular neighborhoods of Casablanca, Morocco, and was picked up by the scouts of the Maghreb Tetouan team, and joined the first team, from which he moved to Raja, and now Zakaria Al-Wardi is on the cusp of joining Zamalek.
Mortada Mansour, president of Zamalek club, announced the completion of the contract with Zakaria Al-Wardi, coming in a free transfer deal, after the end of his contract with Moroccan Raja, to be the team’s first summer deal.
Who is Zakaria Al-Wardi, the new Zamalek midfielder?
The 24-year-old Moroccan can play in the 6 and 8 midfield positions.
He started his career with Maghreb Tetouan in 2017 at the age of 19 through Spanish coach Sergio Lopera, who gave him the opportunity to participate with the first team.
Participation as a substitute against Al-Hasani Al-Jadidi will be a starting point for the young midfielder.
During two and a half years, he played 17 games for the Tetouan team, and only scored one goal.
But at that time he was called up to participate in the international league with the Morocco U-20 team in 2017.
According to the Hespress website, in January 2019 Al-Wardi rejected an offer from one of the French League clubs and clung to move to the ranks of Moroccan Raja, especially with Juan Carlos Garrido expressing his desire to include the player.
The player contracted with Raja for two and a half years, for 100,000 Moroccan dirhams.
Jarrido, the former Al-Ahly coach, explained why he joined Al-Wardi, saying to FilGoal.com: “Everyone was praising his talent before joining and I found it in his potential when he started playing, so he has great potential“.
Jarrido spoke about the player praising him, saying: “Zakaria is a very good player, an innovative midfielder with high skills, and besides all this he has a strong personality on the field and can lead the team from the midfield, and off the field he is a good, professional and very humble person.“.
He continued, “On the physical level, he is strong in tackles, in general he is an excellent player and will fit with the high level of football in Egypt“.
Regarding the position in which the player excels, the Spanish coach replied: “He occupies a position number 8 or the supporting middle, he is innovative and creative and can play in all midfield positions, but the best for him is the supporting middle, especially since he has a high vision on the field and can make a large number of passes as he is a very good passer“.
Jarrido did not last long, as he left at the end of January of 2019, and the Moroccan midfielder played with him only two matches, according to Transfermarkt.
Instead of the departure of the Spaniard, French Patrice Carteron, he led Al-Wardi in 25 matches in all competitions, and the Moroccan crowned with him the African Super Cup title at the expense of Esperance in a match that witnessed Al-Wardi’s participation in full.
Cartieron, the former coach of Al-Ahly and Zamalek, described Al-Wardi for FilGoal.com In 4 words saying:Stamina – A tactical player – High spirit – Very good player“.
He also participated in the African U-23 qualifiers for the Olympics under the leadership of French Patrick Baumel – coach of the Moroccan Olympic team at the time – but was eliminated against Mali in the final stage of the qualifiers.
In December 2019, Raja Club denied the news that promoted his involvement in a traffic accident that led to the death of a citizen.
The club denied all the rumors and false news circulated at the time, which aimed, according to a club statement, to “negatively affect the player and the stability of the Raja Club.”
In February 2021, he won the Player of the Month award at Raja Club.
He also won the Arab Champions League and Moroccan League titles.
It is not surprising in front of the Egyptian teams
Al-Wardi is not a stranger to the Egyptian teams, as Zamalek faced back and forth in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League 2020 as an alternative in the 1-0 loss in Morocco and a key player in the 3-1 loss.
In front of Al-Ahly, he participated in the African Super Cup, which Al-Ahly won on penalties in December 2021.
But he missed the two quarter-final matches of the last edition of the African Champions League due to injury.
In front of Pyramids, too, he missed the two group stage matches of the 2020-2021 edition due to injury, and he was present in the two semi-final matches, which were known to win, qualify for the final and finally achieve the title.
This brings us to player injuries.
Al-Wardi was absent for nearly a month and a half in March 2021 from Raja due to an injury in the Moroccan national team’s gathering, which caused him to miss the two Pyramids matches.
In March 2022, he suffered a meniscus injury and underwent surgery, due to which he missed two months of hope and did not appear in the two matches of Al-Ahly.
These are the most prominent injuries that caused him to be absent for a long time with Raja during the last two seasons.
After the end of his contract with Raja at the end of the current season, after he played 112 matches, scored two goals, made 3 and won 3 titles, Al-Wardi left the team and his name was associated with the move to the ranks of Wydad, the traditional rival, but he preferred to move to Zamalek.
Comparing Zakaria Al-Wardi and Tariq Hamed
Mortada Mansour, president of Zamalek, said during the announcement of the deal, saying:We completed our contract with Zakaria Al-Wardi, player (Tariq Hamed has driven 15 times) and already received his money and signed the contracts and is currently in Cairo“.
The two players played a few matches in the last edition of the African Champions League due to injury. Al-Wardi played 3 matches, starting from the group stage and Tariq Hamed only two matches.
Share the pink In 3 Champions League matches, he fires an average of 1 shot per match, a goal assist and an average of 1 KC every 90 minutes.
His passing accuracy is 88%, with an average of 45 passes per game and 1.3 long passes per match.
Defensively, he cuts the ball at a rate of 2.3 per game and completes 4.7 tackles per game.
He dribbles 3 times per match, average dribbles: 0.7 per match
Fouls at 2.3 per match, gets 1.7 fouls, and loses possession in 8.7 per match
He wins duels 7 times per match, and only gets 2 yellow cards.
* Heat map of Zakaria El Wardi in the CAF Champions League 2021-2022
On the other hand, Tariq Hamed fought In the Champions League two matches, the average chance of a key per match.
His passing accuracy reaches 88%, an average of 57 passes per match, and he sends 2 valid long balls per match.
He cuts the ball at a rate of 0.5 per match and completes 1.5 tackles per match, and is dribbled 0.5 times per match.
He completes 0.5 per match, commits 2 fouls per match, gets 1 fouls, and loses possession 9 times per match.
4.5 doubles wins per match, and gets a yellow card.
* Heat map of Tarek Jammed in the CAF Champions League 2021-2022
Finally, Jarrido told FilGoal.com: “Al-Wardi will be a strong addition to Zamalek, and I expect that he will be a big deal in the Egyptian League“.
Will Al-Wardi meet the aspirations of the Zamalek fans in the new season?
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