ABU DHABI // Baniyas will have a distinctly African flavour to their team this season after they recruited two players from the continent, including one of the biggest names in Egyptian football.
Mohamed Zidan, the forward who helped Egypt win the African Cup of Nations three times in succession, signed a two-year contract with the Abu Dhabi club last night after spending the past seven years in the Bundesliga.
Despite breaking a German top flight record by scoring in each of his first six games for Mainz earlier this year, Zidan was, according to reports, only offered a one-year extension to remain in Germany and opted to accept a two-year deal with Baniyas instead.
Zidan, 30, has 44 international caps for Egypt and will fill the void at Baniyas created by the departure of Francisco Yeste who did not have his contract renewed.
Zidan will be joined at the club by fellow African Ismail Belmaalem, the Moroccan defender, who has signed a one-year loan deal from Raja Casablanca, the Moroccan club.
Andre Senghor, the Senegalese forward who was given a contract extension until 2014, completes the hat-trick of Africans at Baniyas.
Fawzi Bashir, the Oman international who is in his fifth season, will remain the club's Asian player.
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