Youssef began his professional career in the Egyptian Premier League with Al Ahly, winning six league titles over an eight-year period. In 1999, he moved to Turkey where he played in the (Super Lig) for Denizlispor and Diyarbakirspor. He returned to Egypt to play with Egyptian Premier League side ENPPI
Youssef has started his career with the U-17 national team and played with them at the 1987 U-17 World Cup in Canada and also played with the U-19 national team.
Youssef was the captain of the Egyptian team in the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics and scored a goal against Colombia. He made his debut with the first Egyptian national team against Morocco on 11 July 1993. Youssef made 95 appearances for Egypt national football team, including three matches at the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. He won with Egypt the 1998 African Nations Cup and also played in the 1994 African Nations Cup and 2000 African Nations Cup.
Youssef began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Al–Ahly's first team in June 2009 until April 2013.
On May 7th, 2013, Youssef was promoted as head coach. He led Al-Ahly to win the 2013 CAF Champions League and reached the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco. On May 1st, 2014, he resigned from Al-Ahly. On July 23rd, 2014, he was appointed as manager of Iraqi Premier League champions Al Shorta SC.
Despite winning 11 and drawing 4 of the 15 league games he took charge of and was leading their group in the AFC Cup, he was sacked in May 2015. In July 2015 he became head coach of Smouha in the Egyptian premier league, playing also with the Alexandrian club in the CAF champions league. In July 2016 he returned to Iraqi Premier League Al Shorta SC as head coach.
In May 2017 he became head coach of Petrojet in the Egyptian premier league. In June 2018, Youssef returned back to Al-Ahly as an assistant coach and sports director till the end of his contract at August 31st, 2019.