16 November 2012

Tunisia/Egypt: Champions League Final.. Cold Weather and Hot Surroundings

Photo: CAF
Egypt's Al Ahly win record seventh CAF Champions League title

The Champions League final elevated the cold temperature of the Tunisian capital Tunis. Despite the cold weather and heavy rain, the atmosphere of Tunisian and Egyptian supporters who arrived from Cairo made it feel warm at Tunis ahead of Saturday's much awaited final.

Esperance yellow and red colors fill the streets while supporters surround the team's training ground. Tunisian authorities allowed 31000 fans to attend the game including 1000 visitors instead of20000 Esperance fans and 500 for Ahly as both teams seek their fans support.

On the other hand Carthage airport was colored red as Ahly fans keep pouring from Cairo in their teams red colors with the infamous falcon badge named Freedom falcon.

Both clubs supporters agreed the match should rise to the important situation and both teams global fame. Esperance fans also known as Mekachakha expressed their interest, and Najm Eldin Ben Salem, one of them said he wishes hs beloved club wins their third African title and second in a row. Ben Salem added his team is seeking global fame as they have the tools in players like Msakni, Affoul, Hichri, keeper Ben Chrifia and their outstanding manager Nabil Maaloul. He added they want to make use of the away draw and win the title but without losing the good spirit they share with Ahly.

Same attitude applied to both countries press that applied increased interest for the game. Tunisian daily Al Chorouq said Esperance manager Maaloul keeps his lineup secret, while Al Sabah said three players compete for their place in the lineup. Al Sahafa published a report claiming Khaled El Mouelhi could play as left back while Belaili could be take the playmaker role while Msakni is expected to miss the game.

Egyptian press was no different. Widely spread Al Ahram reported Ahly manager El Badry made his tactics at Ahly's Tetch ground. Al Masry Al Youm published reports from Coach Mohamed Youssef who said Ahly will attack and play to win. Newly issued Al Watan quoted Esperance keeper Ben Chrifia saying the title will be dedicated to Ahly martyrs, and admitting he fears Abou Treika and Ahmed Fathy's shots. They also published a report regarding Ahly's reception in Tunis.

Between the hot surroundings and cold weather, the 16th edition final is promising, and the question to be answered is who wins the title? Esperance for third time and second in succession, or Al Ahly looking for their seventh African title and fourth participation in Club World Cup? A question that will be answered with the final whistle by both teams players.

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