"At first, most people were like, 'We don't want no damn American,'" Abdel says. "They thought Bob was all about fitness. His teams won because they were in the best shape. But now they've gotten to see the man and know the man. And they love him. Now, he's a rock star. He's bigger than Obama."
When Bob Bradley accepted the job at the helm of the Egyptian national team last September, he ended up signing on for much more than the position of head coach.
In the eight months since his signing – a period during which Egypt have lost only once in 10 matches – the former United States boss has come to realize that in a country so heavily impacted by political turmoil and soccer tragedy, his role transcends the sport.
In an ESPN "Outside the Lines" special, senior writer Wayne Drehs takes a first-hand look at coaching an Egyptian side desperate for success in the world of soccer, and what it will take for Bradley to lead the national team to the 2014 World Cup – for just the third time in 80 years.