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“Club World Cup”: Al-Ahli break free from Brazilian complex to reach historic final

African champions Al-Ahly of Egypt hope to shake off the Brazilian knot when they take on Fluminense in the semi-finals of the Club Football World Cup on Monday at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah.

In the previous ten participations of the tournament, in addition to the representative of the host country, which annually unites the continental champions, its format will change in the next edition with the participation of 32 teams in 2025, Al-Ahlys trip ended in the semi-finals 3 times at the hands of the Brazilian clubs.

In 2006, during its second participation in the competition, Al-Ahly defeated New Zealand’s Auckland City in the quarter-finals and were eliminated 1–2 by the international team, whose journey ended in the same round in 2012. Corthenians 0-1, lost 0.-2 to Palmeiras until 2021.

The Egyptian team is participating in the Club World Cup for the ninth time and has previously won the bronze medal 3 times in 2006, 2020 and 2021, and the Al-Ahly team is experienced as they have finished fourth twice in 2012 and 2022.

Egypt will be looking to make history by advancing to the Club World Cup finals for the first time in their history and fulfilling their dream of winning the championship or returning to Cairo with a silver medal.

For his part, Swiss coach Marcel Koehler, coach of Al-Ahly, spoke in a more cautious tone, insisting that the match with Brazilian Fluminense should be focused and prepared seriously and that the players should not think too much about the final.

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Kohler insisted that facing Fluminense will be more difficult than the match against Al-Ittihad, a Brazilian team distinguished by its physical strength, skill and intensity of tackles.

Al-Ahly’s technical director admitted his team suffered from a clear technical crisis that wasted easy chances in front of the rivals’ goal, stressing the need for focus and ferocity in front of goal for his players. Ball, to take advantage of every opportunity.

Boosting Al-Ahly’s chances against Fluminense was the crowd factor, as Saudi Arabia has a large Egyptian community, Al-Ahly fans showed up in large numbers for the first match and were strong competition for Al-Ittihad fans. “Al-Jawhara Stadium”, which gave the Al-Ahli players the feeling of playing on the field. Their ground is in Cairo and they performed strongly without being intimidated by stars like Karim Benzema, Conte and Brazilian midfielder Fabinho. .

The African giants will be hoping to benefit from the high morale of their players, who scored a great second-round finish to beat Saudi Al-Ittihad 3-1 after leading 3-0 to overcome Fluminense. The Copa Libertadores will be competing for the first time since their historic crowning of the title.

Auckland City once again held the record for the number of caps at 13 matches, with New Zealander Emiliano Tatei and Hussain El-Shahad sharing just three days with the Argentinian striker in the ranks. A date with a new record by scoring the second goal against Al-Ittihad for Al-Ittihad, he equaled the record held by his compatriot Muhammad Abu Drika and Saudi Arabia’s top scorer in the name of Salem Al-Dosari, taking his tally to four goals.

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Fluminense is competing in the competition for the first time, and it includes a specialist player in the person of veteran full-back Marcelo, who won the title 4 times with his former club Real in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Madrid, Spain.

The 35-year-old returned to his starting football club last February after a failed spell at Greek Olympiakos and went on to win the Copa Libertadores title for the first time in history. Trophies, especially the Champions League five times with Real Madrid Madrid.

Marcelo practices photography during his team’s training session (Brazilian Fluminense)

In an interview with the international confederation’s website, Marcelo revealed that he was expecting to contribute to leading his boyhood team to glory when he signed for him: “But the dream was a bit far-fetched. First we won the Carioca Championship and soon we are going to start our Copa Libertadores campaign. It was still too early. When I arrived – or even before – we dreamed of winning the Copa Libertadores and competing in the Club World Cup. But in the beginning, obviously, we thought about it, but it was a distant dream.

The Fluminense team also included flying winger, Cano, against Argentine striker German Cano (36) when the Pyramids played against Al-Ahly during a match between the two teams in the Egyptian league in the 2018-2019 season. age), the winner of the Cuban top scorer award, also shined in the ranks of the Brazilian team. Libertadores with 12 goals, in addition to the coach of the team, Fernando Diniz, also serves as the interim coach of the Brazilian national team.

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Fernando Diniz and his players will be hoping to take advantage of the psychological factor against Al-Ahly as Brazilian clubs have outperformed their Arab counterparts in the previous 11 matches between them at the Club World Cup, where Brazilian clubs have won 8 times. Arabs and a match ended in a draw and was decided by a penalty shootout.

Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
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