Zamalek manager Jesualdo Ferreira has expressed his delight at winning the Egyptian league title, but has insisted that his future with the Cairo giants is as yet undecided.
"Winning always has a special flavour. The Egyptian league is very difficult, extremely competitive. It is a unique achievement," Ferreira said in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Puplico on Friday.
"Now I have more appreciation for the achievements of Manuel José with our rivals Ahly. We managed to beat Ahly, who had won the last eight championships. I'm in a great club, one of the largest in Africa," added the coach referring to his countryman José who won major achievements (20 titles) during his three stints with Ahly.
The Whites ended an 11-year drought after clinching their 12th Egyptian League title recently, beating off competition from rivals and title-holders Ahly, who were seeking their ninth successive title.
The 69-year-old coach Ferreira was appointed as Zamalek coach in February following the shock departure of his compatriot Jaime Pacheco.
Ferreira was watching his new club from the stands in a league match against ENPPI on 8 February; before the match started, 20 people were killed after the Zamalek supporters were tear-gassed by security forces, causing a stampede.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of football activities in Egypt following the tragedy, Ferreira stressed that he won't leave.
Upon the league resumption a month later, Ferreira quickly adapted to the Whites, guiding them to deliver outstanding performances which kept them at the top of the pack.
"Ferreira is one of those responsible for the joy of millions of Egyptians [Zamalek fans] despite the country's civil unrest," the Portuguese newspaper said about Ferreira adding: "The experienced coach is back in the glory days."
On Egypt, the former Benfica, Porto and Malaga coach said: "A lot has changed. The streets are much more controlled than before. It is a special country. The Egyptian people are unique."
Ferreira's contract with Zamalek is set to run by the end of this season with an option to extend it for another term.
After clinching the long-awaited title, Zamalek president Mortada Mansour said on Friday that the coach has agreed in principle to remain in charge for the new season.
"I do not know yet. It is my decision that I will take with caution. At this point, the only proposal I have received is from Zamalek," the coach said about his future with the Egyptian champions.
"The issue is not related to money. They want me to stay and also fans ask me to remain. Now we have two more competitions to think about, the Egypt Cup and the Confederations African Cup," he added.
Ferreira has extensive experience in European football, particularly in his homeland. His only other spell in Africa has been with Morocco's FAR Rabat in 1995-1996.
His best achievements and most successful stint came with Portuguese giants Porto, whom he led to three league titles and two cup triumphs during his four seasons at the helm.
Finally, when he was asked about the secret behind the success of Portuguese coaches in different leagues all over the world, Ferreira said: "It's not a matter by chance. I think we're good. It's the only answer I can give.
"Portuguese coaches have proficiency. The last coach who guided Zamalek for the league title in 2004 was my countryman Nelo Vingada."
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