Four managers on EFA’s shortlist to replace Hector Cuper
The Egyptian Football Association have released a shortlist of four names to replace Hector Cuper after the Argentine manager was sacked last month.
The EFA have been searching for a new boss following Egypt’s disappointing performances in the World Cup, which saw them lose all three of their games to Uruguay, Russia, and Saudi Arabia and finish bottom of their group.
And today they have named the four candidates for the Pharaohs’ job, saying a committee consisting of Magdy Abdel-Ghany, Essam Abdel-Fatah, and Hazem Emam will assess the managerial options.
The first name on the list is Colombia’s Jorge Luis Pinto, who is famous for guiding Costa Rica for the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.
He led Costa Rica to two Copa Centroamericana titles in 2005 and 2013 and was also named as CONCACAF and Colombia’s best coach of 2014 after the tournament.
In December 2014, he became manager of Honduras, and nearly helped them qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but lost to Australia 3–1 on aggregate in the intercontinental playoff and later stepped down from his position.
However, Pinto was heavily criticized during his time as Colombia’s manager as he failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup as well as crashing out of the group-stages of the 2007 Copa America.
The second name is former Watford and Atlético Madrid manager Quique Sánchez Flores, with the Spaniard lacking international experience as he has never managed a national team before.
Flores has an impressive CV as a player, playing for Valencia, Real Madrid, and the Spanish national team. On the managerial level, he took charge of Real Madrid’s youth teams in 2001, before leaving for Getafe in 2004.
He also had stints at Valencia, Benfica, Atletico Madrid, UAE giants Al Ahli and Al-Ain, Premier League outfit Watford, and most recently La Liga side Espanyol, who sacked him last April.
Flores knows what it takes to win silverware, having led Atletico Madrid to the UEFA Europa League and Super Cup in 2010, and won the Taça da Liga with Benfica and three trophies with both Al Ahli and Al Ain.
Former Mexico and Japan manager Javier Aguirre was also named in the shortlist after he stepped down as Al Wehda manager in May 2017.
The 59-year-old managed Mexico in two World Cups, 2002 and 2010, and was eliminated from the round of 16 in both tournaments.
He took charge of the Japanese national team in August 2014, but his contract was terminated in February 2015 after claims he was involved in a match-fixing incident during his time at Real Zaragoza.
Aguirre’s most successful stint came between 2002-2006 with CA Osasuna, when he guided them to a fourth-place finish in the league, which earned them a spot in the Champions League.
He also took charge of Mexican sides Atlante and Pachuca, Spain’s Atlético Madrid, Real Zaragoza, and Espanyol, and Al-Wahda of UAE.
The last name is Bosnian manager Vahid Halilhodžić, who has a massive experience in African football, having managed Raja Casablanca, Ivory Coast, and Algeria.
He reached the 2010 World Cup with Côte d’Ivoire, but he was fired less than four months before the tournament after his side was eliminated by Algeria in the quarter-finals of the 2010 AFCON.
Halilhodžić had a much better time with Algeria, leading them to the round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup after beating South Korea and drawing with Russia.
He lost to Germany 2-1 in the extra-time in the knockout stages, and despite the loss, the Bosnian manager was praised for his tactics.
He left Algeria in 2014 and went to manage Japan, replacing Javier Aguirre. He guided the Asian side to the 2018 World Cup, but was sacked just two months before the tournament due to the lack of “communication and trust” with the players, according to JFA President Kozo Tashima.
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