CAIRO: Zamalek captain Hazem Emam confirmed on Friday that he retired from football after weeks of speculations over his future.
The 33-year-old midfielder told FilGoal.com that Zamalek players and the board of directors tried to convince him to stay for an extra season.
But my heart told me to stop, he explained.
In the Egyptian Cup final with ENPPI in May, Zamalek fans waved banners asking Emam to stay with the team.
Players wore shirts blaring words No to Retirement and a photo of Emam in the warm up before the match, leaving the veteran playmaker in tears.
I believe that I won t be happy playing football for another season, Emam said.
Emam revealed that he was offered the post of the football director next season, but he turned it down. He said he still undecided on what he will do next.
Since hinting at retirement earlier this season, he has been approached by several television stations to work as a presenter and analyst.
Emam, a former Udinese player, is a Zamalek icon after leading his side to more than 10 titles.
He won three Egyptian League titles, two domestic Super Cup titles as well as the Egyptian Cup.
In Africa, Emam played a pivotal role in clinching the African Champions League in 2002 in addition to the African Super Cup.
Emam s biggest achievement with the Egyptian national team was winning the African Cup of Nations in 1998.
I am satisfied over what I achieved with Zamalek and Egypt during the past 15 years, added Emam.