Football

Al Ahly coach would be ‘honoured’ to face Bayern Munich in Club World Cup

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane said on Sunday it would be an “honour” to face Bayern Munich in the Club World Cup should the Egyptian giants overcome Al Duhail in their first game of the annual tournament on 4 February.

The Red Devils were pitted against the Qatari hosts, with the winners scheduled to meet European champions Bayern in the semifinal.

Ahly met Bayern in a friendly game in 2012, with the German giants securing a late 2-1 win in Doha.

“We’re a good side and we believe we can do big things. We’ve got the Qatari team in our first match and then we’ll see what happens,” Mosimane told FIFA.com in an interview.

“We hope we get the chance to face Bayern. We’d be delighted to play them and it would be an honour for us.”

Mosimane believes Ahly won’t be in awe of the European heavyweights, given that they will be under no pressure to cause an upset against a team that thrashed Barcelona 8-2 en route to their Champions League triumph last season.

“If we beat Al Duhail, the tournament hosts, we’ll face Bayern Munich, which won’t be easy. That said, we won’t have anything to lose if we get that far,” the South African boss said.

“We need to be at our best and fly the flag for the continent, the country and all the fans, so that they can be proud of us. If we give it our all on the pitch and we lose, we can go away satisfied because the level is so high.

“There wouldn’t be any pressure on us … because they’re the team who beat Barcelona.”

Ahly made five previous appearances in the Club World Cup, the last of which was in 2013. Their best result was a third-place finish in the 2006 edition in Japan but, otherwise, their participations were disappointing.

Africa’s biggest achievement was two final appearances for DR Congo’s TP Mazembe and Morocco’s Raja, who lost to Inter Milan and Bayern in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

“We can’t choose the opposition in the Club World Cup draw. We have to be ready to play who we’re drawn against,” Mosimane added.

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