Mosimane (Photo: Ahly s official website)
“I owe full respect to all the club’s previous coaches. Manuel Jose left a big history behind him in Ahly,” the South African coach Mosimane told MBC Masr TV channel late on Sunday.
“I respect the decision of Ahly president Mahmoud El-Khatib to hire me. I wasn’t known enough for all people and he took the risk as he knew that I know a lot about African football,” the 57-year old Ahly boss added.
The 75-year-old Jose is considered one of the most successful coaches in the Egyptian football history.
Jose led Ahly to a series of trophies during three spells, including six CAF Champions League titles, four CAF Super Cups, six Egyptian Premier League titles, two Egyptian Cups, and four Super Cups. He also led Ahly to finish third in the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup.
“It is unfair to compare me with Jose. He has a very big history with Ahly. It is like comparing Manchester United’s former legend coach Alex Ferguson with any of the club’s other coaches,” Mosimane explained.
After taking over Ahly in October 2020, Mosimane made an instant impact, guiding the team to a much-awaited African Champions League crown following a remarkable 2-1 victory over perennial Cairo rivals Zamalek in the final a month later.
He also steered the Red Devils to the Egyptian Cup title and helped the team finish third in the FIFA Club World Cup earlier last year before winning Africa’s most prestigious club competition for the second time in a row last season.
However, Ahly then began a downward slide, losing the Egyptian Premier League title last season — which they had won the previous five seasons — to Zamalek, before suffering a shocking shootout defeat by unfancied Talae El-Geish in the domestic Super Cup.
Mosimane’s future with Ahly was thrown into doubt in several occasions, but Ahly management repeatedly confirmed that there is a mutual desire to extend the South African stay.
Ahly currently lead the domestic league table with 19 points from seven games, with one game still in hand.
The Reds will be playing at the FIFA Club World Cup that will run from 3 to 12 February in UAE.
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