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12.11.2009 19:03

Al Ahli: unknown quantity


Al Ahli is the least known of the three teams Barça could meet in the semi finals of the Club World Cup. The host side is the only guest club in the tournament.

Founded in 1970, Al Ahli qualified as champions of the United Arab Emirates, thus becoming the first side from the Gulf to play in the competition. If they make the semis, it will be the first time Barça have played Al Ahli, although they have played their Egyptian namesakes before.

Many changes

alahlifoto.jpgMuch of their success is down to Czech coach Ivan Hasek, who took the club to its fifth league title before leaving to take over the Czech national side. Romanian Ioan Andone took over in June, but he was sacked earlier this month to be replaced by Mahdi Ali.

Irregular start

The ‘red knights’, as they are known, have not started the season well. They lost the UAE Super Cup on penalties to Al Ain and are now only eighth in the 12-team league with just 7 points from 6 games, and nine adrift of leaders Al Jazira.

They have several UAE internationals in the squad, including promising striker Faisal Khalil, but the two biggest names are defensive midfielder Hosny Abd Rado of Egypt and the huge Brazilian striker Bare.
Al Ahli: unknown quantity

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