Al Ahly SC
© AFP

The past
Al Ahly have made African club records their own, winning the CAF Champions League eight times (1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013). They also hold the record for continental titles (17), CAF Super Cups (five) and CAF Cup Winners' Cup (four). With New Zealand club Auckland City, they share the record for FIFA Club World Cup participation, having competed in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012 and now 2013. Their best performance was in the second of those appearances, when they finished third.

The present
For the second year in a row, Al Ahly had to compete in the CAF Champions League without playing regular football as the domestic league remains suspended following last year's Port Said Stadium disaster. Coach Mohamed Youssef, who took over from the immensely popular Hossam El-Badry, continued where his predecessor left off as he managed to get the best out of his players when it mattered, ensuring an unprecedented eighth star for the Red Devils.

The future
The situation in Egyptian football continues to be in flux as the domestic league remains suspended since early last year and officials nearly always ban clubs from playing at home. For Ahly this means they will have no further competitive games ahead of Morocco 2013.

Facts and figures
Former stars

Mustafa Kamel Mansour, Mokhtar El Tetsh, Adel Heykal, Hussein Hegazy, Amine Shoair, Abdelkarim Sakr, Toto, Abdelaziz Hammami, Mekawi, Saleh Selim, Taha Ismail, Mahmoud El Gohary, El Dozwee, Ikramy, Mokhtar, Zizo, Mahmoud El Khateeb, Safwat, Sabet El Batal, Ahmed Shobeir, Taher Abuzied, Magdi Abdelghani, Ibrahim Hassan, Hossam Hassan, Hany Ramzy.

Key players
Mohamed Aboutrika, Sherif Ekramy, Walid Soliman, Emad Meteab, Wael Gomaa.

Qualifying statistics
As defending champions, Al Ahly joined the CAF Champions League in the first knockout round, where they saw off Kenyan club Tusker 4-1 on aggregate. In the next round they beat CA Bizertin 2-1 over two legs.

In the group stage, the Egyptian giants were drawn with eternal rivals Zamalek, South African club Orlando Pirates and AS Leopards of Congo. Winning three and drawing two of their six games, the Red Devils topped the section by three points and moved into the semi-finals, where they faced Cameroon outfit Coton Sport. In a surprisingly tight tie, things were only decided on the third sudden-death kick in the penalty shoot-out after both matches ended 1-1.

In the final they again faced Orlando Pirates and attacking midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika gave the Egyptian heavyweights an important away goal. The 35-year-old also opened the scoring for the Red Devils in the return leg, before Ahmed Abdel Zaher added another for a 3-1 aggregate victory.

The numbers game
19 – The number of goals Al Ahly scored in their ten matches in the 2013 CAF Champions League. Star man Mohamed Aboutrika and the Emad Meteab were their leading scorers with five and four goals respectively.