Agadir (Morocco): African club champion Al Ahly of Egypt look forward to re-proving themselves at the 2013 Club World Cup opener against Guangzhou Evergrande here at Stade Adrar.
Al Ahly wants to atone for Egypt`s failure to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, reports Xinhua. Comprising mostly home grown players, Al Ahly hoped to show their level against a Chinese club in the quarterfinal here Saturday.
Al Ahly, the Egyptian football giant, having made the African club records by winning the CAF Champions League eight times, also share the record with New Zealand`s Auckland City with fifth participation in the Club World Cup, which is FIFA`s year-ending tournament.
"Egypt is outside the 2014 World Cup. It`s pity for us because it`s dream to go there," said Al Ahly`s captain Wael Gomaa.
"But Egypt have won African Cup many times and Ahly also won in the CAF Champions League. There are good achievements. "
"And now the Club World Cup will be an extra chance. We could make it as an opportunity to compensate for World Cup`s absence."
Al Ahly have two injured players so far, both are fullbacks. And their attacking midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika is one of the several veterans whose age are above 30 years old.
But Egyptian head coach Mohamed Youssef said it was not the problem for his side.
"We have two players with big values. But at the same time, we have other players can replace them with the same level," said Youssef.
"The club likes Ahly has enough long list of players who are quite similar. I hope those replacement has the same performance as the injured teammates tomorrow."
"For age, in football it is difficult to say. We access things by technique. Players` performances are the selection criteria."
As Morocco host the Club World Cup for the first time, the Al Ahly coach believs that playing in an African country would be their advantage against Chinese club.
"The tournament is being held for the first time in African country. I read the newspaper that some of the local supporters will support us. And in climate it is an advantage for us."