Preview: Al Hilal have the ability to overcome Esperance, says Lucesco
Doha: Al Hilal SFC may not have FIFA Club World Cup experience but head coach Razvan Lucescu is confident his team will make up for that with their focus and determination when they play Esperance de Tunis at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Saturday.
Al Hilal are making their tournament debut while CAF Champions League winners Esperance are featuring in their third, after 2011 and 2018.
Doha: Al Sadd SC head coach Xavi Hernandez said that his side should have sealed an early win against Hienghène Sport in their opening match of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup on Wednesday.
Al Sadd needed extra time to defeat the Oceania champions 3-1 at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium and the former FC Barcelona midfielder believes that his side should have converted the chances they created throughout the 90 minutes.
Al Sadd battle past Hienghène Sport to set up Monterrey date
Doha: Qatar champions Al Sadd Sports Club needed extra time to defeat New Caledonia's Hienghène Sport 3-1 in their FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 first round tie at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Wednesday.
After taking the lead in the first half, Al Sadd lost their advantage as the Oceania champions leveled the tie in the first minute of the second half which then saw several missed chances from Al-Sadd.
Abdelkarim Hassan and Pedro, however, scored a goal each in extra-time to steer Al Sadd to the second round where they will meet CONCACAF Champions League winners FC Monterrey of Mexico on Saturday.
Doha: Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal SFC and Qatar’s Al Sadd SC are primed for world class action in the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 which kicks off on Wednesday.
The 16th edition of the global showpiece will pit the champions from the six Continental Confederations, as well as the host nation's league champions, with the final on December 21 at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Hosts Al Sadd will have to negate the first round against New Caledonia’s Hienghene Sport, who won the 2019 OFC Champions League, while Al Hilal will lock horns with 2019 CAF Champions League winners Esperance ST of Tunisia in the second round.
Riyadh: The 2019 AFC Champions League came to a conclusion with Al Hilal dominating the scene. After a 20-year drought, the Saudi giants finally won the title, with the team’s French striker, Bafetimbi Gomis, emerging as the tournament’s best player and top scorer with 11 goals.
Speaking exclusively to FIFA.com, the 34-year old Frenchman revealed the secrets to his impressive performances this season: “I worked hard on every level to score all these goals: technically, tactically and physically. The fitness coaches helped me a lot and thanks to my teammates I ended up the AFC Champions League’s top scorer and best player. I’m fortunate to be playing with a generation of talented Saudi players.”
New champions to be crowned at Khalifa International Stadium
Doha: Khalifa International Stadium, the home of Qatar’s national team, will host three additional matches during the FIFA Club World Cup 2019 after the official opening of Education City Stadium was postponed until early 2020.
In addition to the double-header of games on December 17 – the fifth-place play-off and the semi-final involving CONMEBOL Libertadores winners Flamengo – Khalifa International Stadium will also host the second semi-final, involving UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool on December 18, along with the final and the third-place play-off on December 21.
Doha: There is no doubt that Virgil van Dijk is the best defender in the world right now. The imposing Dutchman was runner-up to Lionel Messi at The Best FIFA Men’s Player earlier this year, and as a result has become used to rubbing shoulders with the world’s greatest at the upper echelons of the game.
Van Dijk has yet to test himself on the global stage for his country though. The Liverpool man made his senior international debut in October 2015, and with the Oranje missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, he has not graced the biggest stage at international level.
For the former Celtic and Southampton defender, the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 not only serves to whet the appetite for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - it also gives him a chance to shine in a global setting for the very first time.