Return to Egypt
However, he never even got to make his debut for Lokomotiv Moscow. The coach had said Zaki needed to "work on tactics" before moving up the pecking order, but the player himself said he couldn't play due to a knee injury, and due to being unable to adapt to Russia would move back to Egypt. Within months Lokomotiv Moscow cut their losses and sold him to Zamalek, although the deal almost collapsed as the Cairo club initially failed to deliver the agreed transfer fee.
In November 2006 Zaki claimed he would join Manchester City in a £2million deal, but it never materialised. Instead he remained with Zamalek for two years, acquiring the nicknames "The Bulldozer" from the fans and "The Egyptian Gladiator" from the press.