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Two giants in 2012 Orange CAF Champions League final
10-31-2012
           
 
 
Al Ahly and Esperance of Tunis, two big clubs on African football map will meet for the first time in the final of the Orange Champions League.  Al Ahly was founded on April 4, 1907, while Esperance Sportive of Tunis was formed on January 15, 1919. Since then the two clubs have continued to win trophies, both nationally and continentally.
While Al Ahly was voted African club of the 20th century, Esperance has been crowned Champions League winners twice and has featured in three other finals. Al Ahly will be playing its ninth Champions League final meanwhile Esperance will be playing her sixth. The clash of the two will thus be that of giants whose result is unpredictable. Esperance will be home for the return of the final, its third consecutive final. The team has a slight advantage, having had an almost regular championship, even though some of the matches were played behind closed doors. The Egyptian club on its part was without domestic competition since the start of February after  the Port Said tragedy that claimed the lives of 74 fans.
The table below tells  the story of the  excellence of these two teams
 
 
 
Al Ahly
Espérance
- 36 Egyptian championship titles
1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

- 35
Egypt Cups
1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1966, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007

- 6 Champions League titles
1982198720012005,20062008
Finalist : 
19832007

-  4
African Cup Winners Cups 
1984, 1985, 1986, 1993
- 4 African Super Cups
2001, 2005, 2006, 2008
- 25 Tunisian championship titles 
1942, 1959, 1960, 1970, 1975, 1976, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011,2012

- 14 Tunisia Cups 
1939, 1957, 1964, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011

- 2 Champions League titles
1994, 2011
Finalist : 1999, 2000, 2010

-
 1 Cup Winners Cup 
1998

- 1 CAF  Cup
1997

- 1 African Super Cup 
1995
 
 
 
Their previous Champions League encounters
 
2011 (Group stage)
30/07  Esperance – Al Ahly  1-0
16/09  Al Ahly – Esperance  1-1

2010 (semi-final)
02/10 Al Ahly – Esperance   2-1
16/10 Esperance – Al Ahly   1-0
2007 (Group stage)
20/07 Al Ahly – Esperance   3-0
04/08 Esperance – Al Ahly   1-0

2001 (semi-final)
03/11 Al Ahly – Esperance   0-0
17/11 Esperance – Al Ahly   1-1
 
Coaches:
Houssam Al Badry (Al Ahly): The former Al Ahly midfielder from 1978 to 1987, had 18 caps for the Egyptian national team from 1980 to 1985. He began coaching Al Ahly during the 2009-2010 before moving to El Merreikh (Sudan) and then came back to Egypt, first to ENPPI and then to Al Ahly.
Nabil Maâloul (Esperance): He was born on December 25, 1962 in Tunis. He played in Esperance from 1975 to 1989 before moving to Hannover 96 from 1989 to 1991. He returned to Tunisia and Esperance where he played for three seasons and then to Club Bizertin and Club Africain before ending his career in Al Ahly Djeddah (Saudi Arabia).  He donned the national team jersey from 1982 to 1994 as a midfielder. He began his coaching career as assistant to the coach of the national team, Roger Lemerre, and was beside him when Tunisia won the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. After a brief stint with Club Bizertin, he took over the baton of command in Esperance in December 2010 and achieved a feat, winning triple trophies (the Cup, the Championship and the African Champions League) before being temporarily replaced by Michel Decastel in January 2012.
 
Key Players
 
Al Ahly : Sherif Ekramy (goalkeeper), Sayed Moawad, Wael Gomaa, Ahmed El Sayed, Ahmed Fathy (defenders), Mohamed Aboutreika, Mohamed Barakat, Hossam Ghaly, Mohamed Shawky (midfielders), Mohamed Nagy Gedo (strikers)

Foreign players 
: Dominique da Silva (Mauritania), Oussou Konan (Côte d’Ivoire) (strikers)
 
Esperance : Moez Ben Chrifia (goalkeeper), Walid Hichri, Chaker Zouaghi (defenders),  Youssef Msakni, Mejdi Traoui, Khaled Mouelhi, Wajdi Bouazzi, Hocine Ragued, Karim Aouadhi (midfielders), 

 Foreign players:  Youssef Blaili (Algeria) (midfielder), Joseph Yannick N’Djeng (Cameroon) (striker),
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