FilGoal | News | Mario Palma .. the lord of Africa arrives in Al-Ahly


Many may not know this, but Al-Ahly has just signed the most successful coach in African basketball history: Mario Palma.

Al-Ahly announced yesterday, Sunday Acceptance of the resignation of Ashraf Tawfiq from the team’s training After losing the Egyptian Cup final to Al Ittihad of Alexandria, he did not delay long in announcing his replacement.

Palma (70 years), a Portuguese national, with an African heart, brings to Al-Ahly with tremendous experiences in the brown continent.

The veteran coach led Tunisia to win the title of the last edition of the African Basketball Championship in 2017, an achievement that Tunisia had achieved only once before.

However, despite the tremendous achievement with Tunisia 4 years ago, Palmas true reputation is with Angola.

Palma led Angola to the African Championship in 4 successive editions: 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005.

A legendary achievement that placed Palma as lord on the throne of the Continent, but it was also not without its difficulties.

Palma recalls Angolas loss to Algeria in the 2001 group stage, with a score of 78-70:

“Until now, I don’t know how we won that tournament. It was a miracle. The organizers did everything possible so that we would not win, but we beat Algeria in the final.”

Palma has a terrifying record in the African Championships, as he won 34 victories and lost one! Yes, it was that defeat against Algeria in 2001 that had no precedent or a consequence.

Palma always felt that he belonged to Africa, he was born in Guinea-Bissau to Portuguese parents, and at the age of thirty he led Angolans to win the African Championship, a title that was the seed of the success of the first team in the next three decades.

Palma was not satisfied with achieving African achievements, but he led Jordan to a historic third place in the 2009 Asian Championships, to lead it to the World Cup for the first time ever.

His successes with clubs were present, as he was the coach of Benficas golden generation in the 1990s and led him to five league titles, and he also reached the final stage of the European Championship for the first time in 1994.

On the continent of Africa, he led Primero de Augusto to the African Cup in 2002 and 2004, and with the Africans he won the Tunisian League in 2016.

Palma says: “I have no secrets. All I do is create a good atmosphere between the players in order to help the team win, and I get all the players involved.”

“I feel that I am more African than I am Portuguese, Angola is my homeland, which is why I have no difficulties adapting to African basketball. I know Africa very well.”

At the age of seventy, Palma landed in Egypt, we do not know where his journey will go, of course, but we will be on a date with one of the greatest basketball coaches in our stadiums next season.


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