Manuel Jose (Photo: Reuters)
Ahly's Portuguese coach Manuel Jose Da Silva has revealed the secrets of his recent decision to quit his post with the Red Devils insisting that his departure is for the sake of the team.
The Portuguese tactician on Friday met with the club's board, informing board members that he intended to leave after spending 18 months with the Red Devils.
The Cairo giants were defeated 2-0 in Friday's friendly in Spanish city Barcelona against La Liga side Espanyol; the game was the last for the team under the guidance of Jose.
"I hoped to end my career with Ahly but recent circumstances were very difficult. I am very sad for departing that club that I love very much and owe a lot for its fans," declared Jose in the press conference after Espanyol match.
"My first game with Ahly was against Real Madrid and we won 1-0 and Espanyol game is my last one with the team. Our performance improved in the second half but the hosts were better than us as we only played four official matches in the last four months. I tried to let all players appear in the match and despite the defeat I thank all of them.
"The situation in Egypt is very difficult. People are only interested in politics neglecting football and its requirements. Ahly and Zamalek will play in the CAF Champions League without fans which is not acceptable."
"Our daily work circumstances were very difficult. The players lost their concentration due to the country's instability and that prevented me from working as I used to before. I feared that I could not meet the fans hopes so I decided to leave," the veteran coach added.
Da Silva is considered the most successful coach in the history of Egyptian football, winning a total of 20 titles including four CAF Champions League trophies.
He was hired back in January 2011 for a third spell at Ahly's helm, successfully overturning a six-point deficit to beat rivals Zamalek for the league title.
Recent reports claimed that Jose was unsatisfied with the situation in Egypt, especially given the uncertain future of Egyptian football following February's Port Said Stadium disaster in which scores of fans were killed and which led to the indefinite suspension of all domestic football activity.
"My relationship with the management, players and fans was a perfect one," explained the 66-year-old coach.
"The secret of the club's success is my excellent relationship with the players and our mutual respect. My previous decisions to offload any player were for the sake of the team."
"I want to thank Ahly supporters and the management for supporting me and I repeat that I am very sad to leave. I did not receive any new offers yet. My wife is very sick and will undergo two surgeries this month and I need to be with her," concluded Jose.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter: @AO Sports)