The Ghanaian striker Joetex Asamoah Frimpong already has a wealth of experience in the CAF Champions League. Twice a winner and top scorer in the event with Nigerian club Enyimba (2003 and 2004), he has again reached the zenith of continental club football, this time with the Tunisians CS Sfaxien. The scorer of a crucial equaliser in the first-leg of the final in Cairo against Al Ahly last month, Frimpong is one of the stars of the Sfaxien side.
In an exclusive interview with FIFA.com, the Ghanian talks about the return leg which will take place on 11 November at the Rades Stadium in Tunis. The reward for victory in this encounter is a place at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2006, and the 24-year-old would relish the opportunity to prove a point on the world stage. He was not selected for Ghana's squad for Germany 2006, having spent a large part of last year out injured and then failing to shine at this year's CAF Cup of Nations in Egypt. Frimpong is now intent on reaching the showpiece tournament in Japan, where he knows a good performance could open the door to a dream move to Europe.
FIFA.com: Joetex Frimpong, with a few days to go before the second leg, what's the mood like in the camp?
Joetex Frimpong: We're brimming with hope and confidence to take on Al-Ahly. We're completely focussed on our preparations, which are taking place in an excellent atmosphere.
This will be your third final. What does this feat mean to you?
I'm very proud of my career so far. After Enyimba in Nigeria, it's amazing to be here at Sfax about to play in a third final of African football's most prestigious event. There's nothing to compare with it. In my view, this one is the most important final I've been involved in, and I hope to bring the benefit of all my experience to allow Sfax to win its first major continental title.
For you personally, is reaching this final especially important because of the difficult start you had to 2006?
Yes. I was very surprised not to be picked for the World Cup, but I accepted the coach's decision. The most important thing was Ghana's involvement, with or without me. I would have liked to make a contribution, but it wasn't to be.
You scored the away goal that stands Sfax in good stead for the return leg. Could you describe to us how you felt?
I see it as the whole team's goal. We put in an effective performance, and everyone battled well. I may have got the goal, but I would never have had the chance to score it without the fighting spirit shown by all my team-mates in such a top-level encounter.
How would you assess Al Ahly?
They're nothing short of a legendary team, and they've got excellent players to boot. That's why we'll be even more delighted if we manage to get past them and reach the summit of all Africa.
Where will the match be won and lost?
The Al-Ahly team are very physical, as well as being more technically gifted than most. So we're going to have to be very vigilant in all areas of the field. One thing's for sure: it's going to be an extremely tight game.
On a personal level, do you think that this final and the possible qualification for the FIFA Club World Cup could earn you an opportunity in Europe?
Playing for a big European club is the dream of all African players, and I'm no exception. But for the moment, I'm fully committed to Sfax. I'll find out later what destiny holds for me.