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Manuel José on Sporting Lisbon-bound Shikabala: He’s talented but problematic
The 27-year-old Zamalek SC star is on the verge of signing for Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, and is expected to arrive in Portugal later tonight before he officially unveiled as a Sporting player.
Manuel José, who is very familiar with Shika after spending years as the manager of Zamalek’s arch rivals Al Ahly, spoke to Portuguese radio station Radio Renaissance about the controversial Egyptian playmaker.
José said that the Zamalek icon is a: “Huge talent but is [also] a source problems.”
For Portugal, the 66-year-old coach is a great source of knowledge on Egyptian football and his words hold a lot of respect for his great achievements with Al Ahly SC, winning 20 titles with the African champions.
The Portuguese coach, who managed in the Egyptian Premier League for eight years, stressed that Shikabala is a “great player” but also said he has a “superstar status” and has “lost his humility.”
He then added: “If he wants he can help Sporting, but he’s also a great risk because he had disciplinary problems with previous clubs that he played for.”
José recalled a situation where he was directly involved with Shikabala: “I wanted to hire him when he was at PAOK. He signed for us (Al Ahly) and then decided to sign for Zamalek again.
Shikabala made his debut for Zamalek in a cup match early in 2002, and scored the winning goal aged only 16. He remained with the first team squad since then but had very limited playing time and no professional contract, which is why he was able to leave Zamalek and join PAOK in January 2005 for no transfer fee.
The playmaker enjoyed two relatively successful seasons with PAOK before returning to Zamalek.