Soccer-Mido named coach of Zamalek in shock move


Jan 22 (Reuters) - Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Mido, who once described his coach as a "donkey" in front of millions of fans, has been named in charge of former African champions Zamalek.

Mido, whose real name is Ahmed Hossam and will be 31 in February, was appointed on Tuesday by the Cairo giants in a shock move but said he was ready for the challenge.

"For those who criticise my appointment because of my age, it is normal in Europe and I am ready for the challenge, especially as I was always a leader on the pitch as a player," he told Egyptian television on Wednesday.

No details were given of the contract for the 30-year-old, who quit playing just over a year ago and has since been acting as a television pundit.

Mido is best remembered for a public spat with the Egypt coach during the 2006 African Nations Cup finals when Hassan Shehata attempted to substitute him but the furious Mido refused to come off.

He called the coach a "donkey" as the two squabbled on the touchline in full view of the television cameras, watched by millions across Egypt and elsewhere on the African continent.

Mido was suspended for six months from playing for Egypt -- one of several disciplinary sanctions during his career.

The striker, a teenage prodigy at Zamalek before heading to Belgium, had a colourful career, marked mostly by his inability to settle in one place for too long.

Mido played in almost all of western Europe's major leagues after stints at Ghent, Ajax Amsterdam, Celta Vigo, Olympique Marseille, AS Roma, Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic and West Ham United.

His last club was Barnsley for the last six months of 2012, where he made a single appearance before agreeing a cancellation of his contract six months before its expiry.

"It is my destiny to be at the place I've adored since my childhood. My success with Zamalek will be a chance to see other young coaches working in Egyptian football.

"I decided to quit playing football at a young age and I have already worked as a football analyst and that helped to enlarge my experience. Sure I will attend further coaching courses but my current experience is good," he added in quotes reported by Egypt's Al Ahram newspaper.

Mido replaces Helim Toulan, sacked after the team's latest draw in the Egyptian league left them fourth after four games of the season.

Five times African champions Zamalek are in the midst of a financial crisis that has seen several key players go unpaid for months. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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