Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Al Ahly in Club World Cup Adventure


Egypt's Al Ahly are now in Asia, ready to face the world's best clubs in the FIFA Club World Cup, the FIFA-sanctioned club world championship played every year in Japan.

Although England's Manchester United are favored, the reigning African champions have a ton of confidence.

*They recently won their record sixth African championship, beating Cameroon's Coton Sport 4-2 on aggregate.
*They're reigning Egyptian champions, winning the title the past 4 years and 33 times overall. *They're 35-time champions of the Egyptian Cup.
*And in 2000, they were named the African Club of the Century by the Confederation of African Football.

They're doing quite all right, I'd say.

This week, Ahly hopes to show the world what they're made of. Ahly have qualified for the Club World Cup three times and this time, they hope to advance and win the championship.

At a press conference in Egypt before their departure, the team brimmed with confidence.

Ahly club chairman Hassan Hamdi said, "These are the glory years of Al Ahly, whose name is now carved within the world's best teams. The staff have done a brilliant job. We are now eager for more. The club officials and fans are confident the team can show more progress this time."

Portuguese coach Manuel Jose says the team is highly ambitious.

"This year there is huge responsibility because everyone expects us to go further than the third place we achieved in 2006, which was also an improvement from the previous year in 2005, when we lost our two games and came last. We dream of winning the cup, and we are working on making the dream a reality."

"The players shouldn't be under pressure. They should just concentrate on the ball and on achieving their goal. It is not going to be easy and we will have to fight. We will display our best because we want to show the world that Al Ahly is a world-class team, a team capable of competing against the world's elite clubs and for the title as well."

(Having said that, take a look at this quote from England's The Daily Telegraph attributed to Jose: "For an African club to finish third in this competition resembles winning the title," Portugal-born Ahly coach Manuel Jose said.

"We will do our best to represent Africa and Egypt well, but our supporters must be aware there is a big gap between football in South America and Europe and football in Africa. Winning the Club World Cup is an impossible task for now. We need more time to achieve that goal."

Hmm ... )





Ahly captain Shady Mohamed admitted the players are determined to make an impression. "This team have achieved many unprecedented achievements, like winning the African Champions League six times and qualifying for Japan three times," he explained.

"So we need to prove to the world that we deserve to be among the elite, and that we are the best representatives for African football. We want to reach the final and hope we can return home with the title. We need to focus more on our first game. Winning our opener will give us more confidence to progress in the competition until we win it."

The hopes of the Cairo giants rest at the mercurial feet of Mohamed Aboutrika, who thrilled audiences at the 2006 edition of the Cup. However, the 30-year-old insisted his side's chances hinge of the players' collective performances. "Football is a team sport, no one can play alone," he said.

"I'm not the star of the team - the team is the star, that's what Mr. Jose tells us. I don't care about individual achievements because only team achievements remain in the memory of the fans, and I'm part of the team."

Ahly's path to the final looks kind of easy.

Should Ahly see off the challenge of Mexico’s Pachuca in the first round, they will play the beatable Ecuadorian side Liga Deportiva Universitaria (LDU) de Quito in the semifinals, just one step away from a likely meeting with Manchester United, Europe's reigning champions.

The tournament runs from December 11th to December 21st. The Cup's contested between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations, although, since 2007, the champions of Oceania must play a qualifying play-off against the champion club of the host country.

Ahly's been in the tournament three times.

The first trip in 2005 proved a major disappointment as they lost 1-0 in the quarterfinals to Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad, before succumbing 2-1 in the fifth-place play-off to Sydney FC. The following year they did much better, finishing the competition in third place.

They beat New Zealanders Auckland City 2-0 in the quarterfinals, before losing out 2-1 to the eventual winners, Brazilian club Internacional. They ensured the competition would be deemed a success, however, when they clinched third thanks to an excellent 2-1 win over Club América of Mexico.

Besides Ahly, this year's Cup features Manchester United; Mexican club Pachuca, who have won the last two editions of the CONCACAF Champions League and Ecuadorian side Liga Deportiva Universitaria (LDU) de Quito, champions of South America.

Japan's Gamba Osaka, winners of the 2008 AFC Champions League will represent the J-League, while the losing finalists, Australia's Adelaide United, will also be there to represent Asia.

The line-up is completed by the OFC Champions League winners Waitakere United of New Zealand. Matches are played at three venues in Tokyo, Toyota City and Yokohama.

For a break-down of the match-ups, please click here.

What does ESPN's Soccernet.com think of Ahly's chances?

Al Ahly (Egypt; Africa/CAF)
Who are they? Africa's most successful club, the Egyptian side dominated last year winning the league and African Champions League double. Portuguese coach Manuel Jose has now led the club to four of their six Champions League successes and the club boast a number of players who have starred for Egypt in their back-to-back African Nations Cup wins. They are also nicknamed 'The Red Devils' and came third at the tournament two years ago.
Captain? Shady Mohamed. The sudden departure of goalkeeper and former skipper Essam El Hadary to FC Sion shocked the club, but Mohamed has the experience and toughness to succeed in the position. A quick central defender with outstanding fitness, he will have to be at his best to get Al Ahly into the finals.
Player to watch? Mohamed Aboutrika. The outstanding performer of the 2008 African Nations Cup, Aboutrika runs the midfield with his creativity and skill on the ball. Providing a potent goalscoring threat from behind the strikers, if "The Smiling Assassin" is on top form then his club could go far.
Prediction? Semi-finals.
Good luck Ahly! We here at Road to 2010 are pulling for you!!!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

pappa pc -
pc booster -
pc optimizer pro -
pc secret formula -
pda flix -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button ecover -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
silent sales machine -
silver lotto -
spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -
the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -

Anonymous said...

top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article bully -
art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -

Anonymous said...

chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -

Anonymous said...

home made energy -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -
piano for all -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -

Anonymous said...

registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -
secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -
two minute profits -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web traffic machines -
wedding speech 4u -
wind plans -
xp repair pro -
your fun business -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -

Anonymous said...

acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish tinnitus -
beat eczema -
blood pressure normalized -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cpa arbitrage -
creative date ideas -
debt free in three -
digital background -
dirty talking guide -
discus fish secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dw insider -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tv soft -
easy web video -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
error doctor -
evidence smart -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -

Anonymous said...

firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto pilot -
gain opinion -
gold secrets -
government records -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -

Anonymous said...

natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
peel away ads -
pips leader -
ppc web spy -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quick article pro -
quick paid surveys -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
registry winner -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
satellite pc box -
save the marriage -
spy no more -
spyware stop -
super seduction power -
surefire trading challenge -
tattoo me now -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the dog food conspiracy -

Anonymous said...

the mini site formula -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
twitter trick -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
alpha male system -
amazing cover letters -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article rewriter -
art of approaching -
auto cash system -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
bv cures -
calling men -
camera dollars -
carb rotation diet -
cash making power sites -
cb mall -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
credit secrets bible -

Anonymous said...

destroy hemorrhoids -
dirty talking guide -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dvd copy pro -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
eczema free forever -
end your tinnitus -
error nuker -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
forex candlesticks made easy -
forex killer -
forex megadroid -
get rid of your cellulite -
g money pro -
google shadow -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov resources -
health biz in a box -

Anonymous said...

homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
hybrid water power -
i software tv -
joyful tomato -
keyword spy pro -
kingdom of pets -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
mole wart removal -
muscle gaining secrets -
natural cure for yeast infection -
paid surveys etc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
public records pro -
quick article pro -
quick income blueprint -
quit smoking today -
ranking loophole -
reg clean -
reg defense -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -

Anonymous said...

richard mackenzie direct -
rig worker -
rocket chinese -
rocket french -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
save the marriage -
site builder elite -
six figure yearly 2009 -
sleep tracks -
sold in 21 days -
spyware stop -
stop being tired -
stop your hair loss -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret magic code -
truth about abs -
turbulence training -
turn your photos into cash -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
1st promotion -
3 redlight fix -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -