Friday, June 21, 2024

A title between two arch-rivals, Al-Nasr and Al-Hilal


The tournament will bring down the curtain on the tournament that started on July 27 in the cities of Aba, Taif and Al-Baha by Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi clubs, represented in the semi-finals by Al-Hilal, Al-Nasr and Al-Shabaab, tested their new international stars after a revolution in terms of transfers this summer.

Both teams will be looking for a morale-boosting title as preparations for the Saudi league season, which starts on Friday, will see 18 clubs (last season’s 16) participating for the first time, each eligible to pay. Eight foreigners.

Al-Nasr got off to a fluctuating start, drawing goalless with Al-Shabaab, then beating Tunisia’s Monastir 4-1, with the signature of Ronaldo, and a late draw with Zamalek (1-1) to narrowly book a quarter-final ticket. (38 years), who arrived with a predetermined contract last January. 400 million euros for two and a half seasons.

In the elimination rounds, five-time World Player of the Year Ronaldo played a major role in “Al-Alami” reaching the finals, knocking out reigning champions Morocco King in the quarter-finals (3-1). , he then scored a late winner from the penalty spot against the Iraqi police to lead the scorer’s rankings (4), ahead of 2022 World Player of the Year Frenchman Karim Benzema, who comes with a fantasy story. A contract with Saudi club Etihad Jeddah.

And for Real Madrid and former England Manchester United star Ronaldo, Portugal’s Luiz Castro oversees Al-Nasser, who has signed Senegalese striker Sadio Mane, Croatian midfielders Marcelo Brozovic, Ivorian Chico Fobana and Brazilian left-back Alex. says He will lose the services of his defender Abdullah Madou due to injury.

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After defeating Al-Shorda in the semifinals, his coach Castro said, “I never make promises.

Castro emphasized the fatigue of his team before the expected start of the league. Hourly, we finished a month and a week, the players are away from their families and the city, but we have heroic players, I am proud. they.”

And about the next match, he added, “This is our life in football. We have to live under pressure. We know it will be difficult to recover, but we will try. Our focus and thinking is on the first league match.”

Al-Nasr will begin their campaign in the Saudi league next Monday with Al-Itifaq, in their quest to finish second behind Al-Ittihad last season, playing Al-Hilal Aba.

Al-Hilal searches for a spear

Al-Hilal, on the other hand, had a very shaky start as it was held to a goalless draw with Libya’s Al-Ahly Tripoli and then lost 2-3 to Qatar’s Al-Saad in the last minute.

Portugal coach Jorge Jesus will need his new players Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Portuguese Robin Neves to qualify after a 2-1 win over Morocco’s Vaitat.

However, in the quarter-finals, it was not difficult for him to overtake Al-Ittihad and its new stars 3-1, with goals from Savic, Salem Al-Dosari and Brazil’s Malcolm, and then eliminated his compatriot Al-Shabaab 3. -1 His goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mouf was sent off in the 25th minute after finishing the match with ten men in the semi-final, and he will be suspended for the final.

Despite scoring six goals in two matches in the playoffs, Al Hilal coach Jesus hinted at the need for a new striker, noting that the “leader” was linked to the signing of Serbian Aleksandar Merdovic from England’s Fulham.

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“We are playing without a spearhead, but we are the team that scored the most goals in the competition,” Jesus said in a press release after the win over Al-Hilal.

He added, “My team played tactically against Al-Shabaab. We scored a goal, got kicked out early and were able to increase the yield with two goals from Salem Al-Dosari and Malcolm. Despite the lack of numbers, two to make sure we had an attacking team. It was able to add goals and it didn’t have an obvious spear.”

International goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais took part in Al Hilal’s team training on Thursday, hours after he joined the team in Taif as he recovered from the injury before traveling to Aba to play in the group stage.

Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
"Explorer. Problem solver. Certified reader. Incurable web expert. Subtly charming travel guru. General student. Twitter evangelist."

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