Ahly striker Emad Meteb is excited over his participation in the friendly match against Kuwait’s Al-Salmiya in a memorial ceremony for businessman Nasser Al-Kharafi.
“It’s great to get back to the pitch after a long injury,” Meteb was quoted as saying in Kuwait’s newspaper Al-Rai, adding “I hope I give a good performance to get back to my [usual] levels to help in the title race.”
The Red Devils’ morale is high after a satisfying 3-0 victory on Wednesday as they leveled points with arch-rivals Zamalek before their clash against Meqassa in the same round.
Ahly are runners-up in the Egyptian Premier League table behind leaders Zamalek.
“The League title is more important for Zamalek, than Ahly as we won it seven successive times,” Portuguese tactician Manuel Jose joked with a fan at the airport.
The Cairo giants star Mohamed Barakat said the friendly game is an opportunity to prove good relations between Gulf countries and the “New Egypt” after the January 25 Revolution that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.
Ahly have been drawn in the African Champions League quarterfinals in the same group as Tunisia's Esperance, Algerian side Mouloudia and the winner of the decider between Morroco’s Wydad Casablanca and Tanzania’s Simba. “I am happy because there are three Arab clubs in our group and the fourth can be Arab too,” Barakat said.
Nasser Al-Kharafi was one of Ahly’s business godfathers and the key funder of Ahly transactions. His last favour to Ahly was funding the salaries of Portuguese coach Manuel Jose and his coaching staff, which totals 123,000 Euros per month.