VIDEO: Zamalek fire Paqueta, calls back Mido
In a surprising move, Zamalek dismissed Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta after only five matches in charge and swiftly appointed Mido as his successor, with the former Tottenham Hotspur man returning to his boyhood club for a second spell as a manager.
Zamalek’s last-gasp 2-2 draw at home to an in-form Maqassa side in Saturday’s Egyptian Premier League game, with the team dropping two points for the second straight match, sealed the fate of Paqueta.
The shocking announcement typifies the typical impatient nature of outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour, who saw Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira, who led Zamalek to the domestic double last season, leave the club in an acrimonious manner early in the season after falling out with the controversial lawyer.
Zamalek are fourth in the league table with 18 points, five behind leaders Maqassa who played three matches more.
Former Saudi Al-Hilal coach Paqueta only led Zamalek for five league matches, winning twice against Haras El-Hodoud and Ghazl El-Mahallah and losing once against Talae El-Geish before his side were held to two successive draws.
Mido started the season with Ismaily and, despite a fine run, resigned from his post last month after a dispute with midfielder and club icon Hosni Abd-Rabou.
The 32-year-old tactician, a former nomadic player who played for a host of European clubs including English side Tottenham and Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam, steered Zamalek to the Egypt Cup title in 2014 in his previous stint in charge.
However, he left after the club could only finish third in the league behind winners and arch-rivals Ahly and runners-up Smouha.
According to local reports, Mido’s backroom staff will include another Zamalek icon in former playmaker Hazem Emam, who is set to become a football director.