Amunike ready to coach Zamalek


Former Zamalek great Emmanuel Amunike has expressed readiness to coach the Cairo giants if given the opportunity.

The Nigerian icon enjoyed a stellar three-year spell with Zamalek in the early 1990s, helping them to two Egyptian Premier League titles and an African Champions League crown in 1993.

Amunike, who also played for Sporting Lisbon and Spanish giants Barcelona after leaving Zamalek, was a key member of a powerful Nigerian team, featuring in the 1994 World Cup and helping them win the African Nations Cup in the same year.

Amunike embarked on a coaching career following his retirement and quickly made an impact, leading Nigeria’s U-17 team to the World Cup title in Chile last year. He then took charge of the national U-20 side but they could not qualify for the Nations Cup after a stunning defeat by Sudan.

Zamalek, who will face South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the second leg of the African Champions League final on Sunday, are currently managed by novice coach Moemen Soliman but Amunike said he would relish any chance to return to his former club.

“For the past six years I’ve been engaged with the Nigerian youth teams to produce a new generation and I’m happy we’ve done that,” he told BBC Sport on Friday.

“I’m a coach that is open to every option, if I am opportune to go to Zamalek that will be a happy elevation but there is a man in charge at the moment.

“If I get a chance to work somewhere else in Africa that will be awesome, and if it’s in Europe – where I obtained all my coaching education – that will be a big boost for my career.

“I am open to any offers. In football you cannot limit yourself and wherever I get an offer I will evaluate it,” the 45-year-old added.

Zamalek have a daunting task to lift their first Champions League trophy since 2002, having suffered an embarrassing 3-0 first-leg defeat by Sundowns in Pretoria.

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