HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Solely victory can be ok for Al Hilal once they tackle South Korea’s Pohang Steelers within the Asian Champions League closing on Tuesday (Nov 23), says Bafetimbi Gomis, as each golf equipment look to develop into the primary four-time continental champions.
The ultimate can be performed in entrance of Al Hilal’s followers on the King Fahd Worldwide Stadium in Riyadh, with the Saudi Arabian facet favourites so as to add the title to Asian crowns gained in 1991, 2000 and 2019.
“It was our goal, our dream (to be within the closing), however I do not know if the phrase dream is the suitable phrase as a result of Hilal all the time has, as a goal, the Asian Champions League,” the French ahead advised The Asian Sport podcast.
“Because the starting of the competitors our goal is to win, it is to not attain the ultimate.”
The Saudi facet gained the title in 2019 to finish a 19-year drought within the continent’s premier membership competitors, solely to be kicked out of final yr’s event through the group stage when a Covid-19 outbreak meant they have been unable to subject a group.
This season, they’ve proven regular enchancment all through after qualifying for the knockout rounds as top-of-the-line runners-up within the group part.
Wins over Iranian duo Esteghlal and Persepolis within the final 16 and quarter-finals respectively have been adopted by semi-final success over cross-Riyadh rivals Al Nassr.
Gomis has scored six occasions on this yr’s competitors, nonetheless a way in need of his tournament-leading 10 objectives within the 2019 version, and that victory is one the well-travelled former France worldwide cherishes as the best of his profession.
“I’ve gained a number of trophies and I’ve scored a number of objectives, however I’ll by no means change my Asian Champions League for anybody,” the 36-year-old mentioned.
“It is the very best trophy, and the very best second in my profession is once I gained this trophy with Hilal. To check, I’ve to win some trophy with France or with the Saudi nationwide group as a result of the celebration is with the entire nation.”
Al Hilal go into the decider as favourites, with many in Leonardo Jardim’s squad showing in a 3rd closing in 5 years following 2017’s defeat in opposition to Urawa Reds, a loss that was avenged in opposition to the Japanese membership two years later.
“We’ve a number of expertise as a result of for a lot of gamers it is the third closing,” mentioned Gomis.
“This is essential, to have some gamers who’ve performed in this sort of sport earlier than. They are not the identical gamers once they performed the primary closing.
“However this doesn’t suggest we’ll win this sort of sport simply.
Will probably be very powerful. We respect so much the group from Korea. If they’re within the closing it’s as a result of they deserve it.”