CAIRO: Benfica coach Fernando Santos said on Saturday he is proud of what his compatriot Manuel Jose achieved with Al Ahly during his two seasons with the Cairo giants.
Fans favorite Jose led Al Ahly to three CAF Champions League titles, three Egyptian League triumphs, two Egyptian Cups, three African Super Cups and two local Super Cup titles.
Speaking ahead of Benfica s friendly against Al Ahly in the latter s centennial celebrations; Santos hailed Jose s achievements with the Red Devils.
I m very proud that a fellow Portuguese is making memorable achievements in the Dark Continent, Santos told the pre-match press conference.
Under Jose s guidance, Al Ahly s continuous success went beyond Africa as the five-time African champions finished third in the FIFA Club World Cup last December.
I watched Al Ahly in the Club World Cup. I believed they could have done even better in the competition, Santos said.
Al Ahly defeated the then-European-champions Benfica 3-2 in 1962, thanks to a brace from Badawi Abdul-Fatah and Taha Ismail s strike.
I will not be looking for revenge when we face Al Ahly, the 52-year-old couch said laughingly.
The match will be a good preparation for my team before the UEFA Champions League takes place. It is the same for Al Ahly, who are currently participating in the CAF Champions League, he added
I don t think the hot weather in Egypt will negatively affect the players performance, he noted.
On the other hand, Jose said he is very happy to play against Benfica, the club where he began his career.
A win is important for both teams but it will not be a problem if we lost the game, he said.
The former Sporting Lisbon and Boavista tactician heaped praise on Portuguese legend Eusebio, who accompanied Benfica in Cairo.
Eusebio is a legend just like Diego Maradona, Pele and Johan Cruyff.