Wednesday 25 November 2020
Al-Ahly club won the dramatic African Nations League championship in 2013 after beating South African champion Orlando Pirates in a match that carries many memories not only for the fans, but also for the players.
Wael Jumaa, the heart of Al-Ahly’s beating defense, turns the pages of this tournament through a dialogue with Yallakora
How was the situation in the team after losing to Orlando in the group stage?
We cannot forget this tournament and the loss of Orlando in the first group stage confrontation, but the players were men and we had experience, we succeeded in reuniting the team quickly and we pledged to win and fight in order to dedicate the title to the martyrs, we wanted to preserve the history of Al-Ahly and we as players and write A good conclusion for us, a number of players whose passion for the ball had ended and decided to put an end to the march so we wanted things to end in the best way possible.
– Abu Trika was as if he was depositing the stadiums in this tournament. Did he talk to you about retirement?
No, he did not talk to me about this. We were talking about one thing, which is winning the title and reaching the Club World Cup at a difficult time for Egyptian football amid great frustration for everyone.
– An unforgettable position in this tournament?
Winning the final match in front of the fans at Al-Mokawloon Al Arab Stadium was a historic moment, winning the championship in two consecutive years was historic.
– The hardest match in this tournament?
The first leg of the final in South Africa, we faced a good team, we were not in the best condition, we managed to get the result of a tie with a goal, this goal contributed to maintaining our chances of winning the title.
– At what moment did you realize that the tournament might be difficult for Al-Ahly?
The loss in the first match and the tie in the second match, at that time it was confirmed that this tournament is very difficult, the solidarity of the players made us be able to overcome things, then we won over the Leopard outside the Congo and it was one of the most difficult confrontations, Walid Suleiman’s goal brought us back to life.
The most dangerous striker in this tournament?
I don’t really remember any particular player, but there were high-level forwards, and I was absolutely focused.
– What was the conversation that took place between you and coach Mohamed Youssef before the final?
Captain Mohamed Youssef is a distinguished coach and a good personality. He accompanies the players and makes them love and trust him. All the players were “men” and we agreed that we all seek to serve the club and that Captain Youssef is our brother and we trusted him a lot, as well as he trusted all his players. Those were the scenes in the dressing room. We were all responsible and every player was a captain on the field, and we pledged to win the championship at a difficult time for Egypt and Egyptian football.
Did victory over Zamalek in the groups make the tournament have a better memory?
Zamalek’s presence is one of the good points and during the journey in the African Champions League, the presence of Zamalek was a good omen for Al-Ahly in the tournament.
Tell us about the atmosphere of the Cameroonian cotton match?
The match was very difficult, the rain imposed a postponement of the match to the next day, it was difficult for all of us and Ali personally, which prompted coach Mohamed Youssef to give me a rest on the second day, the players were men.