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Mohamed Youssef names Al Ahly squad for FIFA Club World Cup
Now that Al Ahly are once again the champions of African, Mohamed Youssef’s focus is completely directed towards the FIFA Club World Cup in December.
The tournament, starting on December 11th and ending on the 21st, will be hosted on Arabian soil: in Morocco. Al Ahly can expect extra support as the ultras of Wydad Casablanca, ‘The Winners’ announced that they will cheer for the Red Devils.
Al Ahly will face Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande of China, who are coached by Marcello Lippi, on December 14th and the winner will face European champions Bayern Munich on December 17th – something that both teams would definitely look forward to.
Bayern Munich have recently congratulated Al Ahly on winning their eighth championship via their official Facebook page, a very nice gesture by the European champions.
Al Ahly have asked Adidas to add an 8th star to the logo on their kits ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup, and the trophy the Cairo giants successfully defended will arrive in Egypt on the 24th of November.
Things are not going very smoothly at Al Ahly, however. Ahmed Abdel-Zaher, who scored Ahly’s second goal against Orlando Pirates in the final, was excluded from the squad and has been transfer listed as serious measurements have been taken against him for his post-goal ‘Rabaa’ salute.
The absence of Ahmed Abdel-Zaher is expected to weaken Al-Ahly’s offense as he has been a starter in the CAF Champions League, is physically fit and in form. However, the return of Emad Meteb could make things less difficult for the African giants up front, and it may as well be his chance to show that he is still the great striker he used to be.
Walid Soliman was included despite being injured in the final (with a bruised ankle). He underwent an MRI with the national team and is currently being rested and treated ahead of the return leg against Ghana – which is why he did not participate against Zambia on Thursday.
Most probably this tournament will witness Abou-Treika’s final moments as a football player. After Egypt’s harsh loss against Ghana, he announced his decision to retire via Twitter, and he did mention that if Al Ahly wins the African trophy, the Club World Cup will be his last appearance on the pitch.
Brilliant performances are always expected from the African ‘hero’ Treika. He has done so much for both club and country and he most certainly deserves a superb farewell. He desires to face Bayern Munich, a team which Al Ahly has faced in January 2012. The match ended in the German’s favour 2-1 by a late goal, but Al Ahly stood up well against the Germans. Abou-Treika’s through pass was just perfect for Barakat to score the equalizer for Al Ahly.
Mohamed Youssef chose the following players to represent the African Champions on the international stage:
Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy – Ahmed Adel Abdel-Monem – Mahmoud Abou El-Sooud
Defenders: Wael Gomaa – Sherif Abdel-Fadil – Ahmed Fathi – Mohamed Naguib – Saad El-Din Samir – Sayed Moawad – Ahmed Shedid Qenawy
Midfielders: Hossam Ashour – Shehab El-Den Ahmed – Ahmed Nabil Manga – Ahmed Shokry – Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ – Rami Rabia – Walid Soliman – Abdullah El-Said – Mohamed Abou-Treika
Strikers: El-Sayed Hamdy – Dominique Da Silva- Emad Meteb – Amr Gamal
- This tournament will be Al Ahly’s 5th.
- Ahly’s best record at the FIFA Clubs World Cup is the 3rd place in 2006.
- In last year’s tournament, Al Ahly held the 4th place.
- Mohamed Abou-Treika along with Lionel Messi and Denilson are the top scorers in the history of the tournament with four goals each. (Since Barcelona are not participating, Treika may be able to break this record)