Former Brazil star Kaka said on Tuesday that Ahly's Club World Cup participation epitomizes the progress Egyptian football has made.
Ahly are making their sixth appearance in the Club World Cup, a record in Africa. They kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Qatar's Al Duhail before slumping to a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the semis.
Although the European champions outplayed Ahly and dominated most of the game, the Red Devils were still content not to suffer a heavier defeat.
"It's not easy to be here. This team (Ahly) deserve to be here," Kaka, who was named the world's best player in 2008, told a news conference in Qatar.
"When we see (Liverpool star) Mohamed Salah and Ahly we know this is not an exception; this is an indication of the Egyptian football's progress."
Kaka was part of a Brazil side that played against Egypt in a thrilling FIFA Confederations Cup game in 2009.
The former AC Milan and Real Madrid playmaker opened the scoring and scored a decisive late winner from the spot as eventual champions Brazil secured a hard-fought 4-3 win.
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