Dutch manager Martin Jol confessed he was stunned by the atmosphere during his time as Al Ahly coach، mentioning the pivotal role team captain Hossam Ghaly played in convincing him join the club.
Jol was announced as Al Ahly new manager in February 2016، and managed to win the league title last season with the Red Devils، but his journey with the Cairo giants lasted for only six months after he handed his resignation on August of the same year.
“It was a nice experience to be there [at Al Ahly] with Hossam Ghaly. You may remember him throwing his shirt. He convinced me to go there. Can you imagine? It’s a strange world. This was Ghaly، he had to leave Tottenham because you can’t do that with a Spurs shirt،” Jol told football.
“I spoke to him and he’s such a nice fella. He’s probably the best midfielder in North Africa. He’s a bit older now but I spoke to him and he said to come over.”
“I said I couldn’t go to Egypt، but he said ‘football is big here and Al Ahly are the biggest club in the world. I said ‘What are you talking about?’ He explained that they have 70 million fans. Barcelona have 30 million. I went over and it was unbelievable. We had a training session and opened the gates and there were 50،000 people there.”
The former Ajax manager also discussed the difficulties of living in Egypt، long miles away from his family.
“I was on my own for seven months. Three months is ok، but seven months is tough. I was in the palace of King Farouk، it’s now a Marriott Hotel. It doesn’t matter though if you’re living in a palace، you miss your family. It was a nice experience but one day thousands of students came on the pitch and there were no police and I thought it’s time to go home again.” he concluded.