Egyptian Premier League and Caf Champions League heavyweights Al Ahly have confirmed Ricardo Soares as their new head coach.
The Portuguese tactician takes over after the Red Devils and South African coach Pitso Mosimane parted ways on June 13. This was not long after they had failed to defend the Champions League title against Wydad Casablanca in the final.
"Al Ahly SC have reached an agreement with Ricardo Soares to become the club’s football first team head coach for the rest of the current season and the upcoming two seasons," the club announced on Thursday.
"The Portuguese coach arrived in Cairo on Wednesday along with the rest of his coaching staff and met with the club’s president, Mahmoud El-Khatib, and the chairman of Al Ahly FC company, Yassin Mansour."
Mauricio Vaz and Raul Faria were appointed as assistant coaches to Soares, while Sami Komsan, who has been in charge of the club since Mosimane left, will act in the same capacity as Vaz and Faria.
Pedro Guimaraes is Al Ahly’s new fitness coach and Eduard Lobo was confirmed as the goalkeeping coach, while Luis Pereira will be the performance analyst.
As Soares fills the Al Ahly hot seat, he is expected to perform even better than Mosimane, who led the Egyptian heavyweights to three straight Champions League finals, winning two of them.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana coach won the Egyptian Premier League once and also led them to the Fifa Club World Cup on two occasions when they finished in third place twice.
Additionally, Mosimane won the Egyptian Cup once and the Caf Super Cup twice.
Soares is an equally experienced coach, having managed Cacadores Taipas, Lixa, Academico Felgueiras, Felgueiras 1932, Ribeirao, Vizela, Chaves, Aves, Academica, Covilha, Moreirense, Gil Vicente – all Portuguese clubs - and now Al Ahly.
Currently third, Soares is expected to lead the Red Devils in their Premier League title race as the season halts towards the homestretch. Zamalek SC are leading with 51 points, while Pyramids are second with 49, although both have played 23 games compared to Al Ahly’s 20.
Ahead of them is an Egyptian Cup game against Petrojet and league games against El Gouna, Future, Pyramids, and Ismaily.