Former Real Madrid assistant coach Jose Peseiro has expressed delight and enthusiasm at being able to lead Egyptian club Ahly- following the sacking of Fathi Mabrouk after a season without any major trophy.
"The first word I learned in Arabic is Shukran [thank you] and I am so happy with the good reception. I know I am being attacked -- even before starting my job -- but everyone will know who I am when I help this popular club regain championships trophies," the 55-year-old tactician said in a press conference on Sunday in Cairo.
Ahly, who dominated Egyptian football in the last decade, winning a series of trophies, were troubled this season after losing both the Egyptian Premier League and Egypt Cup to traditional arch rivals Zamalek. They clinched the Super Cup from them on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates.
Peseiro is starting his one-season mission with the Egyptian league season opener against Talae El-Geish on 22 October.
"I was worried about the last Zamalek match as another loss could make my mission tougher. The league starts in three days and this is the crisis I am trying to pass and of course no major changes will appear in the first match," Peseiro, who will be assisted by football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz, added.
"I know there are worries regarding my appointment but I will prove to the big Ahly crowd that I am capable of returning the team back to their glorious days," he insisted.
Following their first unsuccessful season since 2004, Ahly management axed manager Fathi Mabrouk and appointed Abdel-Aziz "Zizo" Abdel-Shafi as the caretaker who guided them to win the Super Cup.
"I didn't come to Egypt for money and I’m hoping I can create success, similar to Manuel Jose's accomplishments," Peseiro added, referring to Ahly's best-ever manager who won a host of titles in three spells.
Peseiro, who failed to take Saudi Arabia to the 2010 World Cup finals, was among several candidates tipped to take the Ahly hot seat including compatriot Manuel Jose.
"Ahly is a really big club and can only be compared with Real Madrid in terms of popularity and media attention"
Apart from spells at Real Madrid and Saudi Arabia, where he was sacked following a loss to Syria in the Asia Cup in 2011, Peseiro also took charge of Saudi's Hilal, Panathinaikos, Sporting Braga and the United Arab Emirate's Al-Wehda.
His most notable achievement came in 2005 when he led Portuguese giants Sporting to the Europa League final before losing the title to CSKA Moscow.
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