Egyptian football icon Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’ has been appointed the new coach of his home club Zamalek, the club announced on Tuesday.
“We have officially appointed Mido as the first team new head coach,” the club said in a statment in its official website late on Tuesday without disclosing any details.
The former Zamalek star succeeds Helmi Toulan, who was sacked after the team’s latest draw against Haras El-Hodoud 1-1 in the Egyptian league.
Toulan, who helped the team to its first silverware in five years by claiming the Egypt Cup last November, did not meet expectations because the squad is performing below par this season.
After four matches, the Whites are fourth in Group B table with 7 points, six behind leaders Ismaily.
From pitch to bench
Mido – who will turn 31 on 23 February – is set to become the youngest coach in Egyptian football history. He will have his first coaching experience with Zamalek after working as a football analyst at Al Jazeera Sports channels since his retirement last summer.
Although Mido lacks high-profile coaching experience, Zamalek management is gambling on the vast experience of the much-travelled former player who was a part of a number of great European clubs for more than a decade.
He is known for his passion and leading personality, which is hoped to help him control a squad that is hampered by lack of discipline and troubles.
The club has been suffering from a stiff financial crises that saw the players out of payments for several months.
Mido has became the second iconic figure in Egyptian football who switched directly from player to coach after his own idol Hossam Hassan took over Masry just a few weeks after retiring at the same club.
A glorious career cut short
In June 2013, Mido hung up his boots after failing to find a club after leaving English side Barnsley in January.
The former Ajax, Marseille, Roma and Tottenham striker signed a one-year contract with Barnsley in the summer of 2012, but he left by mutual consent six months later.
Plagued with persistent fitness problems, Mido only appeared once for the Tykes before leaving in January. He has been without a club ever since.
The towering frontman came through the youth ranks of Cairo’s Zamalek before beginning a European adventure at the age of 17, playing for ten teams.
He failed to realise his potential at the international level, though, and was absent during Egypt’s African Cup of Nations triumphs in 2008 and 2010.
He was part of their squad in 2006 but missed the final victory over the Ivory Coast in Cairo, following an infamous touchline altercation with then-coach Hassan Shehata.
Source: Ahram Online