Caio Lucas Will Not Play Against Esteghlal.. Al Sahbani: Heading to Tehran to Demonstrate Al Ain’s Genuine Charisma and Fly Back with the Great Victory


Al Sahbani, Manager of Al Ain FC, underscored that the “Boss’” preparations for Monday’s match were at the optimum level as Croatia’s Zoran Mamic supervised special recovery programs of all his squad players on the day followed the first leg match ended by 2-2 draw. “In the following day, the head coach held a morning training session on Thursday and on Friday they concluded their training sessions by evening round of training and then the delegation flew directly to Tehran.”

On the team’s absences, he said: “The team will be missing Brazil’s Caio Lucas as he is suffering from slight muscle strain he was exposed to during the first leg match. The head coach’s decision was to give him a break accordingly.”

“Al Ain has not lost any of the three matches that the team played in previous rounds of the groups stage of the AFC Champions League,” replied Al Sahbani to a question on the team’s chances to win one of the two qualifying cards. He also said: “The “Boss” is required to fly back from Iran with the points of the match in hands, and we do understand that our mission against our opponent at Azadi Stadium will not be easy. Yet, all the squad members enjoy the great desire to snatch the three points and achieve the first win over an opponent who relies on proper preparations and physical strength.” He stated: “I do believe that we were not luck enough in the first leg match to win following the apparent field domination as well as missing the first penalty kick.”

“We know that the Iranian team looks forward to maintaining their top spot at the standing table of Group D. Yet, they are well aware of the weight and status of Al Ain being one of the best teams in Asia at present,” added he. He also confirmed: “The squad players are enjoying high morale that make us feel optimistic and at ease that all will be alright. I reassure you as I mentioned before that the team’s players have a substantial desire to fly back home with their hands on the three points.”

On the messages adopted by Iranian means of media that could be classified under unfair play and mobilising the fans and instigating chaos, he commented: “Absolutely, such messages will never sow or trigger fear among us. Quite the reverse, such acts shore up our desire, resolve and determination to achieve the best result, as I told you, because we are used to experience such conditions.” He emphasized: “We are heading to Tehran to demonstrate our strong genuine charism and fly back home with a great victory.”

“Such acts committed by the press or certain fans are attributed to their very strong grasp of their competitor and the position of Al Ain.” Added he. He signed off: “I do believe that the thrilling victory by 6-1 could not be forgotten easily and surely winning a match in the world of football is impossible to be achieved through giving your throat to spirited battle cries in the newspapers or provocation while in stands. Indeed, victory could only be achieved through the well preparation, great performance, diligence and show the real desire to win the challenge. Al Ain’s power turned to be a source of fear for the competitor and this gives us a sense of pride and honour.”