Liverpool star Mohamed Salah said he is proud that two Egyptian sides have made it to the African Champions League final, with Ahly and Zamalek scheduled to contest the prestigious trophy on 27 November
The anticipated game, dubbed "the derby of the century" by local media, will mark the first Champions League final to feature teams from the same country.
Both sides qualified with a bang, with Ahly beating Morocco's Wydad 5-1 on aggregate and Zamalek overcoming another Casablanca-based team, Raja, with a 4-1 aggregate victory.
Salah is one of few Egyptian footballers who shone in Europe without ever playing for Cairo's famed duo. He came through the youth ranks of Arab Contractors before joining Swiss club Basel in 2012 to embark on his European adventure.
"This is a very good thing that I'm proud of," Salah said in excerpts of an interview with Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports released Friday.
"I really hoped both would make it to the final and I watched their semi-final games."
Salah admitted he still had mixed feelings over worries that the heated rivalry could have a bearing on the Egyptian national team.
"At the same time, I don't want any sensitivity to exist between the players, especially that they will join the Egyptian national team before or after the game," he added.
"But their qualification to the final is still a very good thing for the Egyptian team and the country in general."
Ahly are eyeing a record-extending ninth Champions League title and their first since 2013 while Zamalek are seeking to win the coveted prize for the first time since their fifth triumph in 2002.
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