CAF Champions League winner Al Ahly SC approaches the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 ™ with a solid background. The Egyptian club is playing its sixth edition of the competition. On this occasion, he hopes to improve his best result: a third place, obtained in 2006, for his second participation.
Ready for the challenge, the Red Devils count on the goalkeeper of Egypt, Mohamed El Shenawy, great architect of the ninth CAF Champions League conquered by his club, with only five goals conceded during the continental campaign. From the height of his meter 91, the Egyptian captain has, in addition to qualities in the cages, an immense experience in major competitions. El Shenawy thus played two matches with the Pharaohs in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ™, against the host country and Uruguay.
“For me, it’s a great accomplishment to have played in the World Cup with the national team and to now take part in the Club World Cup”, confides the last Egyptian bulwark. “Every player dreams of playing in these competitions. It implies an additional responsibility. To play an international competition, it takes a lot of dedication and work. At Al Ahly, the players and the management gave a lot to make us compete. this edition, ”he adds.
A fight and a dream
Having faced Russia at the 2018 World Cup, El Shenawy knows the challenges of meeting against the local team in an international competition. An experience on which the 32-year-old plans to rely to help his club during his first meeting in the event, against Al Duhail SC. “It will be a special match because we will face an Arab club, which will play at home, in front of its home crowd. We expect a complicated meeting,” warns the goalkeeper. “Al Duhail are a very good team, with top-level players. The club have recruited a lot, strengthening themselves in particular with a striker and a defender. We watched their last matches in the Qatari league. It will be a great fight. We’re going to have to prepare in the best possible way to have a good game. “
If they manage to overcome this first obstacle, El Shenawy and his team-mates will face Bayern Munich, reigning European champions and winner of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2013. Wink of fate, this trophy of the Bavarians coincides with Al Ahly’s last appearance in the competition. “The most important thing for us is to win the first game against Al Duhail. It will not be an easy game,” said the goalkeeper. “But it would be fantastic to qualify for the next round and face Bayern Munich, because it would allow us to compete against the best team in Europe. It’s every footballer’s dream,” he added. .
If he hopes on this occasion to realize another dream, namely to face the goalkeeper of Germany, Manuel Neuer, El Shenawy’s dream also sets himself a more ambitious goal: to make Al Ahly the first African club to win the FIFA Club World Cup.
“The team’s ambition is to go as far as possible and play a big role in the competition. My dream is to win the title. If we want to be world champions, it will have to be extremely solid, ”he concludes.