Fans gear up for Al Ittihad vs Al Ahly showdown in Club World Cup

Club World Cup

Riyadh, The Gulf Observer: Football enthusiasts across the Arab world are setting their sights on Jeddah, eagerly anticipating an exciting Arab derby in the FIFA Club World Cup.

The quarterfinal clash between Egypt’s Al Ahly and Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad promises to be a highlight of the tournament, which continues until Dec. 22 in Saudi Arabia.

Both teams are vying for victory to secure their spot in the semifinals, where they would face Brazil’s Fluminense, the Copa Libertadores champions.

Al Ahly, participating as the reigning champions of the African Champions League, earned their spot by defeating Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca last season, marking their 11th title in history.

Meanwhile, Al Ittihad represents Saudi Arabia as champions of the Saudi Professional League.

Al Ittihad advanced to this stage following a commanding 3-0 win over New Zealand’s Auckland City in the opening round on Tuesday.

The two teams have a storied history, having met in a memorable encounter 18 years ago in the tournament’s second edition in Japan.

In that match, Mohammed Noor scored the only goal, propelling the Saudi team to the semifinals and eventually finishing fourth.

Since then, Al Ahly has participated in seven editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, securing three bronze medals in 2006, 2020, and 2021.

Hosting the quarterfinal match, Al Ittihad is aiming for another win against the Cairo giants and to continue their impressive performance in the tournament, which they are hosting in Jeddah.

Their opening match victory over Auckland City was a high-energy affair, witnessed by over 50,000 fans at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium, a record attendance in the history of this prestigious global tournament.