Egypt's all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan back as Ittihad coach

Ahram Online , Tuesday 13 Oct 2020

Hossam Hassan

Egypt's all-time top scorer Hossam Hassan was named as Ittihad's coach for a second spell, the Alexandria-based club announced on Tuesday, ending a short sabbatical after he left Smouha in January.

Hassan will succeed Talaat Youssef as the coach of Alexandria's most popular football club, with the latter stepping down on Monday following a 2-1 Egyptian Premier League loss to Masry. He will also be joined by his twin brother, Ibrahim Hassan, as a football director.

Ittihad, who announced Hassan's appointment in a brief statement, lie tenth in the league table on 39 points with only two matches remaining.

Hassan's previous stint in charge of Ittihad lasted for only nine months in the 2014/15 season, with the team winning 12 matches, drawing 13 and losing ten under his guidance. They survived relegation on the final day of the season.

The 54-year-old, one of Egypt's best ever players and a prolific marksman in his heyday who netted a record 69 international goals, has had mixed fortunes in his 13-year coaching career.

He managed a handful of Premier League clubs, including Cairo giants Zamalek (two spells), Port Said-based club Masry (three spells) and the big-spending Pyramids FC, but could not deliver any trophies.

His best achievements saw him help Masry finish fourth in the league and qualify for the semi-finals of the Confederation Cup, Africa's secondary club competition, in 2018.

Hassan was also on the verge of leading Jordan to a historic World Cup place after helping them reach a playoff against Uruguay in 2013, only for his side to suffer a 5-0 aggregate defeat against the South American powerhouses.

Despite the lack of titles in his coaching CV, Hassan is still credited for turning underdogs into top-four challengers. He is known for being a tough-talking boss and a motivator who makes perfect use of his status as one of Egypt's most decorated footballers of all time.

Hassan left Smouha, another Alexandria club, in January after some poor results.  

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