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Egyptian giants Al Ahly are dreaming of extending their unprecedented record with a ninth CAF Champions League title, as they are preparing to take on North African rivals Esperance of Tunisia in the much-awaited final. Both sides clash at the Alexandria based Borg El Arab stadium on Friday (2 November 2018) before locking horns again in the decisive return leg at Radis Olympic Stadium, just outside the Tunisian capital Tunis seven days later.

While Ahly is playing for a title they last won in 2013, their French coach Patrice Carteron will be targeting personal glory too. Three years ago, Carteron led DR Congo giants TP Mazembe to win the Holy Grail of the continent’s club football. And if he could repeat this achievement with Al Ahly this year, he will join a prestigious list of the coaches who led different clubs to the premier continental club trophy.

Egyptian late Mahmoud ElGohary led both giants Al Ahly (1982) and Zamalek (1993) to win the African Cup of Champions Clubs (former name of the CAF Champions League), while Argentine Oscar Fullone repeated the same feat with Cote d’Ivoire’s ASEC Mimosas (1998) then with Morocco’s Raja Casablanca in the following year (1999). No other coach has won the title with two different sides.

“It has been my target since I joined Al Ahly last June”, Carteron told as his side started preparing for the final first leg at home. “I tasted CAF Champions League glory before, and I really want to have this feeling again”.

In 8 CAF games with the Cairo “Red Devils” this term, Carteron led Al Ahly to 6 wins, a draw and a single defeat, managing six clean sheets in the process. An effect initiated by the signing of Malian giant defender Salif Coulibaly, another man who tasted glory with Carteron at Mazembe.

“I insisted on signing him because he’s not just a good defender, Salif is a true leader. With his teammates they have done a great job so far”, added the 48 years old Frenchman.

The 86000 seated Borg El Arab stadium, almost 200 kilometers north to Egyptian capital Cairo will be the venue for the first leg this Friday, 2 November 2018. At stake are the trophy, a 2.5 million dollars (2.2 million euros) prize, and a place in the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates next December.


Patrice Carteron

 Date of Birth: 30 July 1970 (Saint-Brieuc, France)

Playing Position: Defender

Career as player:

1990 – 1992     Stade Briochin (France)

1992 – 1994     Stade Lavallois (France)

1994 – 1997     Stade Rennais (France)

1997 – 2000     Olympique Lyonnais (France)

2000 – 2001     Saint Etienne (France)

2001               Sunderland (England)

2001 – 2005     Saint Etienne (France)

2005 – 2007     Cannes (France)

Career as coach:

2008 – 2009     Cannes (France)

2009 – 2012     Dijon (France)

2012 – 2013     Mali

2013 – 2016     TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

2016 – 2017     Wadi Degla (Egypt)

2017               Al Nassr (Saudi Arabia)

2017 – 2018     Phoenix Rising (USA)

2018 –             Al Ahly (Egypt)

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