Ahly crew in Cairo airport (Photo: from the club's official website)
After losing both their games in the Club World Cup in Morocco, the Ahly squad have arrived back in Cairo to start preparations for the new Egyptian Premier League season.
The Cairo giants suffered a shock 5-1 defeat by Mexico's Monterrey three days after losing their first game 2-0 to China's Guangzhou. The losses put them at the tail-end of the Club World Cup teams.
Under the helm of coach Mohamed Youssef, Ahly will directly start their preparations for the new Egyptian Premier League which kicks off on 26 December.
Youssef, who took the lead at Ahly after the departure of former coach Hossam El-Badry and won his first CAF Champions League title with the team this season, said he would not consider resigning.
"I have a contract with the team until June so I shall respect it and won't hand in my resignation," Youssef was quoted as saying on the club's official website.
He also thanked his players for their efforts during the tournament games, and said that the suspension of domestic football in Egypt has taken its toll on the players' performance as evidenced in the tournament.
Youssef has made it clear that he has failed to convince the team’s star player, Mohamed Abou-Treika, to change his mind about quitting football after the Club World Cup.
"I failed to convince Abou-Treika to retreat from his retirement decision," Youssef told the club’s official website.
"I spoke with the player during the tournament but he confirmed that he has taken his final decision as it's the right time to quit football," the tactician concluded.
"Winning the African Champions League and playing in the Club World Cup in Morocco, then goodbye to football and many thanks to all," Abou-Treika said via Twitter early in October.
The announcement came after the 35-year-old midfielder's dream of playing in his first World Cup was dashed by Egypt's 6-1 playoff defeat to Ghana.
"After I spent the best years of my life playing football, it's the end. I want to thank everyone for their support, and forgive me for any lack of effort. Best of luck to Ahly and the Egyptian national team," Abou-Treika tweeted.
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