It has been called a miracle that Al-Ahly will play in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup. With the country still in chaos and no competitive football in 10 months, nothing of this magnitude was expected of them even after they won the CAF Champions League.

Succeeding in spite of instability has become Al-Ahly’s speciality, embodied in none more clearly than their talisman Mohamed Aboutrika. He scored the winner in their victory over Hiroshima to add to his ever-growing collection of personal accolades.

Hailed as one of the most significant players of his generation, Aboutrika’s achievements are not confined to the seven league titles, five Super Cups and four CAF Champions’ League crowns he has won with Al-Ahly. Neither are they illustrated only by the two African Nations Cups he has played an instrumental part in Egypt winning.

The five consecutive Egyptian player of the year awards he…

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