Egyptian champions Al Ahly landed in Abu Dhabi on Monday night to begin preparations for the Fifa Club World Cup.
The African powerhouses are taking part in the competition for their seventh time. The Egyptian Premier League giants qualified for the tournament by winning the 2020/21 African Champions League.
Two years ago, Ahly were beaten in the semi-finals by eventual winners Bayern Munich, although they did go on to seal third place with a play-off victory against Brazil’s Palmeiras. Until now, no African side has won the Club World Cup.
Should Pitso Mosimane’s men get past CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey at Al Nahyan Stadium this weekend, they will meet Palmeiras, the Copa Libertadores champions, in the semi-final on February 8.
Meanwhile, Monterrey touched down in the UAE on Sunday as they get set to contest the Club World Cup for a fifth time. They finished third in 2012 and 2019.
“We feel very good, very motivated to come to do a great work.” Monterrey right-back Edson Gutierrez said.
“We come for the dream to get the championship. And we will do everything possible to fulfil this dream.”
The Club World Cup kicks off on Thursday when host representatives Al Jazira take on Tahiti’s AS Pirae at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium. The tournament, which also features European champions Chelsea and reigning Asian Champions League holders Al Hilal, runs until February 12.