Harrison Afful, scorer of the goal that took Esperance through to the FIFA Club World Cup, has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of competing in Japan.
The Ghanaian international’s superb curling strike proved decisive in a tense CAF Champions League final, guaranteeing his Tunisian side a place alongside Barcelona, Santos et al at next month’s star-studded showpiece. However, while memories are still fresh of the sensational run to the final by last year’s African representatives, TP Mazembe Englebert, Afful is well aware that he and his team-mates face an imposing challenge.
“The task ahead of us now is very big,” he told the bbc. “[Playing at the FIFA Club World Cup] is a dream come true and we thank God for giving us this chance.
"We can’t say that we are going to win it – this is football and you can’t predict anything. We are just going out there to do our best and give our maximum, as we have all along. We will take game by game and listen to the coach. We all want to win to win trophies for this club.”
That, of course, was just what Afful succeeded in doing with the wonderful match-winning goal that secured Africa’s most coveted club trophy. Rather than hog the limelight, however, the 25-year-old was keen to deflect praise on to his team-mates and the club’s supporters.
“I’m really honoured to have scored this great goal, and I thank my colleagues, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I also want to thank the fans for supporting us and praying for us. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do anything.”