CAIRO: Egypt’s all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan hardly controlled his temper during his glorious playing career but he carved out a better reputation as coach, thanks in part to the disciplinary measures he faced several years ago.
Hassan was playing for Zamalek, the side he now coaches, under the guidance of Brazilian manager Carlos Cabral in the early 2000s but he landed himself in hot water due to some reckless actions despite his heroics with the Cairo giants.
Cabral opted to punish Zamalek’s most prominent star at that time, risking the wrath of the die-hard supporters who could not imagine life without their prized asset.
Years later, Hassan found himself following in the footsteps of Cabral.
He did not hesitate to penalize energetic Hazem Emam and in-form playmaker Shikabala for lack of commitment earlier in the season.
"I think Hassan has benefited from the sanction I imposed on him," Cabral, who took over at Ittihad in September last year, told FilGoal.com on Wednesday.
"He banned Emam, who is one of the best players at his disposal, for disciplinary reasons to set an example to follow for all managers in Egypt."
Hassan turned around the fortunes of a Zamalek side who faced the unthinkable prospect of being relegated to the second division prior to his arrival.
They were struggling at the wrong end of the table when he was appointed in November last year before his fruitful tactics lifted them up to second in the table with two matches remaining.
Zamalek are now likely to book an African Champions League berth, a possibility that looked very distant several months ago.
"Hassan built a very good Zamalek team, I’m very happy for him," Cabral, whose contract was extended by Ittihad for two seasons after he made a decent impact at the Alexandria-based club, added.
"Despite what happened between us in the past, my relationship with him is very good."