Sunday 31 January 2021, 10:25

El Shahat: We want to do big things here

  • Hussein El Shahat played for Al Ain at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018™

  • The Egyptian impressed on their run to the final

  • Hopes to go one better with Al Ahly and win the title

Egyptian forward Hussein El Shahat had a tournament to remember with Al Ain at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018™. The host side knocked out River Plate in a breathtaking semi-final at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium before losing out to Real Madrid in the final.

El Shahat is now poised for a return to the competition, this time with Al Ahly, following their CAF Champions League triumph. “The Club World Cup is a great competition,” he said. “I played in the final with Al Ain and it was an experience that I can’t really put into words.

“I’ll never forget that game against Real Madrid and I hope I can do the same with Al Ahly this year and go on to win the title,” he added.

Hussein El Shahat celebrates with Al Ain players

A tough challenge

Given his Club World Cup experience, El Shahat knows what Al Ahly can expect at Qatar 2020: “As the champions of Africa, we’ll be up against champions from other continents. Every player dreams of playing in this tournament. All the teams are strong and all the players want to showcase their skills. We have a good squad. We’re united and want to achieve something here.”

Looking ahead to the Red Devils’ second-round tie with Al Duhail, the Egyptian forward said: “Al Duhail are a strong team and have some quality players. We’re preparing well for them because we respect them and I’m sure they respect us too. They’ll be playing on home soil, in front of their fans. We know all their players and we know their strengths and weaknesses. The coaching staff and the players know what to expect and we hope we can beat them and advance in the tournament.”

The dream tie

Like every other player at Qatar 2020, El Shahat is dreaming of the chance to take on Bayern Munich: “We’re taking it one game at a time, so our focus is on the first game. Bayern are a great team with lots of stars. I’d like to play against [Thomas] Muller. I like him and his style of play."

Signing off, El Shahat had some warm words for the Al Ahly fans: "They’re fantastic. They want us to win every game and they want us to play good football. They also want us to score lots of goals and win titles. If I talk all day about them, it won’t be enough because they’re always behind us. My hope was that they’d be able to come over here. It would have really motivated us. We have fans not only in Egypt but all over the Arab world. They would’ve filled the stadium if they’d had the chance. I hope they’ll always be able to support and motivate us.”

Fans during Al Ahly arrival to Doha