The die is almost cast, few days from now the talk would be over and the real action will start unfolding at Gabon. Ghana is not left out of the tournament as the 4 time winners have been pegged in a mouth-watering group, which has 7 times champions Egypt, household name Mali and a very energetic Ugandan side.
Obviously, it a group nothing would be left to chance, until the final group games are over, it will be difficult to underestimate any side. For some pundits, they will easily tip Egypt and Ghana because of history. Should we write off Mali and Uganda completely?
It is with this daunting question that sportworldghana,com profiles the taskmasters [coaches] that will come against Ghana’s Avram Grant in group D to indeed confirm whether Mali and Uganda have no place in group D or just the usual per-tournament discussion. Their origin, breakthroughs, chances and the credentials they present to the competition;
Hector Raul Cuper- Egypt
Born some 61 years ago in Chabas, Santa Fe, Argentina on 16th November, 1955, Cuper is a former Argentine footballer who played as a center back but made just three appearances for the Argentina. However at club level, Hector was not a disappointment as he established himself from 1976 to 1992. Hector played for clubs like Ferro Carril Oeste, Independiente and Huracan, where he scored 34 goals in 567.
One and half-year after his retirement, Hector picked up his first managerial appointment with Hurancan and since then Cuper has not looked back, not the best in Argentina but Hector is up there with best in terms of coaching. He has had stints in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Raul has managed both club and national teams. Notwithstanding the few challenges that clocked his way, the Egyptian trainer has chalked successes going by the numbers with Huracan, Lanus, Mollorca, Valencia, Inter Milan, Parma, Georgia, Aris, Racing Stander, Orduspor, Al Wasl.
Hector has chalked over 15 wins and little above 2 defeats with the Egyptian national team since his appointment in 2nd March, 2015.
Huracan -Primera Division: Runners up-1994 Clausura
Mallorca – Supercop de Espana 1998, UEFA cup winners runner-up 1998-99
Copa de Rey runners-up 1997-98
Valencia – SuperCopa de Espana, 1999, UEFA Champion league runners-up, 1999- 2000,2000-01
Inter- Seria runners-up 2002-03
Aris- Greek Cup, runners-up 2009-10
La liga coach of the year-Don Balon Award 1999
UEFA club coach of the year
Mulitin Sredojevic- Uganda
Uganda are on a mission to write their name in the History of African football. They have been around for long time but their presence have not been felt for years hence the quest to do the right thing and in their dugout is a certain 47-year-old Serbian who was born in Prokuoje formerly Yugoslavia. Though he has a very low portfolio to show to the world, the mere fact that he has overseen Uganda’s qualification makes him a threat to the rest of the teams.
Mulitin started as a youth player with Olimpija_Ljubljana from 1980-1987 before making his senior appearance for clubs like Svoboda Ljubljana, Sinđelic Belgrade, Graficar Belgrade, FK Zorka Subotica and FK Pionir Subotica between 1988 and 1994 when he retired. Mulitin made 95 as a player and scored 15 goals.
Srejodevic has managed FK Palic, FK Spartak Subotica, Yugoslavia U20, FK Hajduk Kula, Villa SC, Saint-George SA, Orlando Pirates, Young Africans FC, Al-Hilal Omdurman. He was appointed as Rwanda national coach from 2011-2013. Mulitin Srejodevic has been with the Ugandan national team since 2013.
Alain Giresse- Mali
If personality, fame and experience is what would be counted during the tournament then the Malian national team has one of the finest going to Gabon, Alain Giresse comes with very rich reputation. Alain was born in Langoiran, France on 2nd August, 1952. (64 years).
Alain Giresse was one of the most successful players France produced in the 1970’s and 80’s. He was adjudged the France player of the year for three times-1982, 1983 and 1987. As an attacking midfielder, Alain played for the France national football team in the 1982 FIFA World Cup (fourth place) and the 1986 FIFA World Cup (third place).
He was a member of the Euro 84 winning team, and alongside Michel Platini, Luis Fernández and Jean Tigana formed the legendary “Carre Magique” (Magic Square) in midfield.
He played 587 times for both Bordeaux and Marseille, he managed 163 goals.
Before his appointment as Malian national coach in 2015, has had stints with Toulouse, Paris Saint-Germain, FAR Rabat, Georgia, Gabon, Senegal.
FC Girondins de Bordeaux
• French Division: 1983–84, 1984–85
• Coupe de france: 1985–86, 1986–87
• UEFA European championship: 1984
• Artemio Franchi Trophy: 1985
• FIFA Wold cup Third place: 1986
• FIFA World cup fourth place 1982
• French Player of the Year: 1982, 1983, 1987
• Onze d’Argent: 1982
• Ballon d’Or – Runner-up: 1982
• UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1984
Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
• Trophée des Champions: 1998
• Coupe du Trône:2003
• Africa Cup of Nations Third place: 2012
The figures have been put out there and it up to Avram Grant to bring his European and African experience bear as he do battle with technically brains who have seen it all in the game