Former Egyptian coach dies shortly after nation’s loss to Saudi Arabia in World Cup

Former Zamalek coach Abdel Rahim Mohamed fell sick at the headquarters of the Egyptian state television building. (Courtesy Al-Wattan newspaper)
Updated 25 June 2018

Former Egyptian coach dies shortly after nation’s loss to Saudi Arabia in World Cup

CAIRO: A former Egyptian footballer and sports analyst has died shortly after Egypt’s loss to Saudi Arabia 2-1 at the World Cup Monday, Egyptian sources have said.
Former Zamalek coach Abdel Rahim Mohamed fell sick at the headquarters of the Egyptian state television building, Maspero, where he was scheduled to provide an analysis of the match on Nile Sports channel.
It is reported that he fell ill after the Saudi team scored their winning goal during the match’s 95th minute, to beat Egypt 2-1, preventing the African nation from winning its first ever match at the tournament.
He was rushed to a hospital downtown Cairo but was soon announced dead, according to the reports.
Head of the Qasr Al-Aini Hospital, Ahmad Taha, confirmed in statements carried by news website Masrawy that Mohammad had passed away upon arriving at the hospital.
Egypt heads home empty-handed after losing all three matches at the World Cup.


Lower expectations for Barcelona entering Champions League

Updated 20 October 2020

Lower expectations for Barcelona entering Champions League

  • Barca have not won since 2015, but since then have never embarked on a new campaign amid so much disarray

MADRID: Despite managing to hang onto Lionel Messi, Barcelona begin its Champions League campaign with reduced expectations after one of their worst seasons in years.
The Catalan club appears to lack its confidence from previous seasons following an embarrassing elimination to Bayern Munich and a troubled off-season in which it nearly lost its talisman.

“Knowing what happened recently, we are not the top favorite,” coach Ronald Koeman said on Monday ahead of the team's debut in this season's competition against Hungarian club Ferencvaros. “But we are a team that can go far.”

Koeman arrived to put Barcelona back on track shortly after the 8-2 collapse against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, which capped their first season without a title since 2007-08.

“Barcelona always plays to win titles, in the league and in Europe, but there are other strong teams,” Koeman said.

Barcelona have not  won the Champions League since 2015, but since then they had never embarked on a new campaign in the competition amid so much disarray.

The club avoided losing Messi after he said he wanted to leave, but it continued to endure political turmoil and even financial difficulties. President Josep Bartomeu is facing a censure motion that could force him to leave his post before the end of the year.

Koeman was given the task of revamping the first team, and he quickly got rid of veterans such as Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic, but the club failed to bring in any of the players he wanted in the transfer window.

Koeman said Messi is fine despite scoring just once so far this season.

“Maybe his performance could be better, but I see him happy,” Koeman said. “I see him training well and focused. I have nothing to complain about him in that sense.”

He said “a bit of bad luck” has played a role in keeping the Argentina star from scoring more goals so far. Koeman also downplayed criticism of Antoine Griezmann for his recent poor performances, though he admitted that “everyone in the attack” can improve.

Barcelona opened the Spanish league with two convincing wins under Koeman, but then it drew 1-1 with Sevilla at home and lost 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday.

Hungarian champions Ferencvaros return to the Champions League for the first time since 1995. They needed to get through four qualifying rounds to reach the group stage.

The other Group G teams are Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv.

“We want to start with the right foot,” Koeman said. “We want to win the match and gain tranquility.”