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'There won't be any interference in your work', Zamalek chairman tells Paqueta

Hatem Maher , Wednesday 9 Dec 2015
Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour (R) shakes hands with new coach Marcos Paqueta (Photo: Zamalek's official Facebook page)

Zamalek's controversial chairman Mortada Mansour, whose fall-outs with the former two managers led to their departure, told new coach Marcos Paqueta on Wednesday that "no one" will interfere in his work.

In a video released by the club, Mansour assured the Brazilian boss, who took over following last month's sudden departure of Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira, that his choices would be totally free.

The outspoken lawyer publicly called for certain changes to be made to Zamalek's starting line-up and formation during Ferreira's reign, going as far as to brand the former Porto boss "a failure" following the team's 3-2 defeat by arch rivals Ahly in the Egyptian Super Cup, the annual curtain raiser of the season.

Ferreira, who led Zamalek to the domestic double last term, eventually decided to unilaterally terminate his contract, following in the footsteps of predecessor and compatriot Jaime Pacheco who also left the club on New Year's day after falling out with Mansour.

"No board member will ever come to you during training for instance. This is your own venue and you are the president of Zamalek on the pitch," Mansour told Paqueta, who led Brazil's U-17 and U-20 sides to two World Cup triumphs in 2003.

Paqueta led Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal to a domestic treble in 2005, including the coveted league title, before taking charge of the Saudi national team at the 2006 World Cup in Germany but they failed to book a last-16 spot after two defeats by Ukraine and Spain and an exciting draw with Tunisia.

He also won two league titles with Al-Gharafa in Qatar and had another stint in the Gulf country with Al Rayyan.

The 57-year-old also took charge of Libya for two years before returning to Al-Gharafa in the summer of 2014.

"I didn't come here for money, God gave me a lot. I came here to make history," said Paqueta, who will make his Zamalek debut when they meet Haras El-Hodoud in the Egyptian Premier League on 17 December after a long break.

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