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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Kohler Calls for Calm amid Ahly Fans' Insatiable Appetite for Success


Sun 26 May 2024 | 12:35 PM
Marcel Kohler
Marcel Kohler
Mohamed Mandour

Al Ahly coach Marcel Kohler has called on the club's supporters to savour their record-extending 12th TotalEnergies CAF Champions League triumph before immediately turning their attention to the next trophy.

The Swiss tactician guided the Egyptian giants to back-to-back continental crowns with Saturday's 1-0 win over Esperance in the final's second leg in Cairo.

However, Kohler admitted he expects demands for a TotalEnergies CAF Champions League title to start immediately from Ahly's insatiable fanbase.

"I know the fans will demand the 13th title for me as soon as I arrive at the residence hotel," he said after Roger Aholo's early own goal secured victory in front of over 70,000 fans at the Cairo International Stadium.

"I've learned at Al Ahly that after we finish one tournament, the fans ask us about the next one, and this is not a good thing, as they don't know how to celebrate and enjoy these moments.

"Looking for titles is a good thing, but it's important to know how to be happy. I am like Al Ahly's fans, hungry for titles, and my ambition is to help the team achieve more success."

Kohler, who has now won eight Egyptian and African trophies in two years at the helm, urged a sense of perspective after another historic achievement.

"We faced a strong team and tried to break up their play to score, while being careful not to concede goals," the 51-year-old explained.

"We focused on scoring in the first quarter of an hour. It doesn't matter who the goal was awarded to - whether an own goal or Ramy Rabia's.

"I set more than one scenario and we didn't rush after the first goal, as that's what Esperance wanted. We dealt well with the game. Esperance didn't create dangerous chances apart from long shots.

"Final matches are like chess games and we got what we wanted."

The former Zurich and Grasshoppers boss reserved praise for Esperance, who were aiming to end a decade-long wait for their third Champions League crown.

"Al Ahly passed through difficult stages to reach the final, just like Esperance, who are a strong team as they succeeded in overcoming Sundowns home and away and presented distinguished levels," Kohler added.

"We achieved record numbers and deserved to reach the final."

Ahly's victory was their 12th TotalEnergies CAF Champions League title, underlining their status as the competition's most decorated club.