Ahly's Koller vows for more trophies amid demanding supporters

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 May 2024

Ahly coach Marcel Koller expressed his delight after defeating Tunisia's Esperance and clinching the CAF Champions League title for a record-extending 12th time, reassuring the club's fans, that he is still hungry for more trophies.

Marcel Koller
Ahly coach Marcel Koller. Photo courtesy of CAF.


The reigning champions secured their consecutive title with a 1-0 victory over Esperance in the second leg of the CAF Champions League final, following a goalless draw in the first leg in Tunisia.

"I am extremely pleased with the win and the Champions League triumph against a team of Esperance's caliber. We had several scoring opportunities but lacked focus in finishing our attacks. Nevertheless, we achieved our objective," Koller stated during the post-match press conference.

"If not for some carelessness, we could have scored multiple goals. I am delighted to have claimed this prestigious title against a formidable opponent like Esperance. Thankfully, we managed to keep a clean sheet," added the 63-year-old tactician.

Koller expressed that his team aimed to score an early goal to alleviate the pressure on the players. "We approached the match against Esperance as planned, emphasizing the need to score within the first 15 minutes. Whether the goal came from Rami Rabia or an own goal, it made no difference to me. I had prepared for various scenarios against Esperance."

"In such significant matches, we must play intelligently, and Esperance were waiting for an opportunity to score. We must be very cautious not rush upfront and be exposed at the back. Fortunately, we dealt with their threats effectively and denied them any chances. Both teams deserved to reach the Champions League final after a grueling journey.

"I know fans want to see big games with big scores but in the finals, especially between big teams, the games are very rich tactically and both managers use a lot of ideas. It is kind of enjoyable too," he continued.

Addressing the fans' desire for more trophies, Koller acknowledged, "I am well aware that the fans will ask me to win the 13th title. However, it is important that the fans celebrate the championship rather than focus solely on the next one. Like the loyal Ahly fans, I too am hungry for championships and have the ambition to help the team secure more titles."

Koller dismissed discussions surrounding Ahly's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup, stating, "It is premature to talk about the Club World Cup at this stage. Our focus should be on other ongoing competitions."

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