Only 24 hours before the month of Ramadan, Zamalek SC and fans celebrated on Tuesday the winning of its 26th Egypt Cup title after beating Smouha SC 5-4 on penalties. The Zamalek members extended their gratitude to the club’s board of directors for their support of the team and its coaching staff throughout the season.
The victory redeemed Zamalek’s difficult season, in which the team ranked fourth in the Egyptian Premier League, which means that it will not play in the next CAF Champions League. The club was also knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup’s first round.
Mortada Mansour, president of Zamalek, expressed his happiness for claiming the cup title, thanking all the players and coaching staff for their efforts throughout the tournament.
“I dedicate the cup title to all Zamalek fans and everyone who loves the club,” said Mansour, adding, “this victory is the best response to the conspirators.”
He further added that the appointment of Khalid Galal as the coach of the club was risky, but he made good use of the opportunity, noting that referee Mohamed Farouk presented a good performance with no mistakes.
Mansour asserted that his team deserved to win the cup title for its great efforts and not with the help of the referees, as some claimed. He also expressed his delight to finish the season with winning the cup title, which qualifies Zamalek to play in the next Egyptian Super Cup against Al Ahly SC and participate in next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
Zamalek’s president revealed that each player of the team will be awarded EGP 60,000 and a free Umrah trip. He expressed his rejection of the behaviour of Smouha coach Mimy Abdel Razek, who clashed with Mansour during the receipt of the cup medals.
This cup title was very special for Zamalek fans, as it came with the start of Ramadan, giving more joy to the White Knights’ fans.
Meanwhile, Mansour spoke about the coming summer transfer window, revealing that the club intends to sign only three or four new players.
He said that the team needs a left-back, playmaker, and striker, revealing that Zamalek had signed Amr Marey before he moved to the Tunisian club Étoile du Sahel.
Regarding the rumoured transfer of Enppi midfielder Mohamed “Afsha” Magdy to Zamalek, Mansour addressed Mahmoud Al-Khatib, president of Al Ahly SC, saying, “let us stop competing over the signing of players to avoid the rise of transfer values more than EGP 10m.”
Moreover, Zamalek’s coaching staff asserted that the team does not need a new goalkeeper, especially with the presence of brilliant goalkeepers like Mahmoud “Gennesh” Abdel Rahim and Omar Salah. They added that Ahmed Al Shennawi is expected to recover from his injury by the start of the next season.
Many Zamalek players were keen to travel to their hometowns to spend the first days of Ramadan with their families after the team’s coaching staff decided to give the players a month-long rest from training.
On the other hand, Zamalek’s management was not happy with the remarks of the club’s former stars, Ahmed “Mido” Hossam and Hazem Imam, where they dedicated the cup title to the players and fans only, excluding the management. Mido stressed the need for contracting with a foreign coach to lead the team in the next season, despite the success of the current coach, Galal. Zamalek’s management stressed that these remarks were inappropriate, especially in this “glorious moment” after winning the cup title.