ABU DHABI, 1st February, 2022 – Abu Dhabi, the global capital of sports, welcomes Al Hilal SFC from Saudi Arabia and Al Ahly from Egypt, in addition to the ADNOC Pro League UAE Champions 2020/21, Al Jazira Club, to represent Arab countries at the grand stage of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 .
For the second time ever, the 18th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 will have three Arab clubs participating, as the 2019 edition had previously included Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, Esperance of Tunisia and Al Sadd of Qatar.
Al Jazira Club, representing the host country, will play the opening match against the OFC representatives AS Pirae on February 3 at 08:30 pm (UAE Standard Time) at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.
As per the tournament draw, Al Ahly of Egypt will face CF Monterrey of Mexico in the second round on Saturday, February 5 at 5:30 pm (UAE Standard Time) at Al Nahyan Stadium.
In its first match, Al Hilal SFC will face the winner of the opening match on Sunday, February 6 at 8:30 pm (UAE Standard Time), which provides the opportunity for an exciting all Arab clash in the second round in case Al Jazira wins the opening match.
The three clubs have a huge following across the Arab world thanks to their great heritage and ongoing success.
Al Jazira won three league titles, three UAE President’s Cup titles, in addition to securing fourth place in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2017.
Al Ahly, on the other hand, claimed the domestic league title on 42 occasions, in addition to a combined 48 national cup and super cup titles.
Al Hilal is the most decorated club in KSA, with a record 17 league titles and 33 domestic cup triumphs.
Al Ahly’s participation at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 was secured through the club’s 10th CAF Champions League title, which was a result of their historic win over South African side Kaizer Chiefs, 3-0, at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco.
The Red Devils, as nicknamed by their fans, are making their second successive appearances at the FIFA Club World Cup , having finished third in 2020 after beating Palmeiras on penalties following a goalless draw.
The Cairo-based club is managed by former South African international midfielder Pitso Mosimane.
Saudi Arabian champions Al Hilal SFC arrive at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 as the AFC Champions League winners, following their victory over the Korean side Pohang Steelers at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.
The club has been represented in the past by some of the game’s most legendary figures, having been managed by the renowned Brazilian legend Mario Zagallo, who oversaw a side that featured 1970 FIFA World Cup star Rivellino.
Al Hilal is currently managed by Leonardo Jardim, the veteran Portuguese coach who was previously in charge of AS Monaco and Sporting CP.
Al Jazira Club are participating in the tournament as representatives of the host country and champions of the ADNOC Pro League.
The club featured over many years very talented players, most notably Ali Mabkhout, the one-club legend and the UAE’s historic goal scorer, having produced 79 goals in 101 caps.
They are coached by Dutchman Marcel Keizer, a former manager of European giants Ajax and Sporting CP.
Arab clubs will be joined by: CF Monterrey representing the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF); Chelsea FC, champions of the UEFA Champions League; SE Palmeiras representing the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL), as well as the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) representative AS Pirae.