Al Sadd gear up for AFC Champions League match against Al Ahli

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FROM LEFT: Al Sadd’s South Korean midfilder Jung Woo-Young, Algerian star Baghdad Bounedjah and Qatari defenders Tariq Salman and Boualem Khoukhi in action during a training session at the Al Sadd Stadium yesterday.

The Qatari champions host Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli Saudi FC in their AFC Champions League Group D match tomorrow. The match will kick off at 9:45pm.

Al-Sadd Sports Club (Arabic: نادي السد الرياضي‎) is a Qatari sports club based in the Al Sadd district of the city of Doha. It is best known for its association football team, which competes in the top level of Qatari football, the Qatar Stars League. Locally, it is known primarily by the nickname “Al Zaeem”, which translates to “The Boss”.

In addition to football, the club has teams for handball, basketball, volleyball, table tennis and athletics.[1] It is the most successful sports club in the country, and holds a national record of 53 official football championships.[2]

The origin of Al Sadd’s conception began with four Qatari students who excelled in football, but did not wish to join any of the existing football clubs. After consulting with the minister of Youth and Sports, the group, led by Abdulla bin Ahmed bin Mubarak Al Ali and Ali bin Mohammad bin Ali bin Sultan Al Ali, founded the club on 21 October 1969 in Qatar’s capital city.

In the 1989 season, they became the first Arab club side to triumph in the Asian Club Championship by defeating Al Rasheed of Iraq on an aggregate of away goals. Twenty-two years later, they won the 2011 Asian Champions League and earned a spot in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, in which Qatar finished third.

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Qatar’s most succesful club, Al Sadd was established by four students who excelled in playing football. They refused to join other clubs at the time and decided to make their own club.

They consulted with Sheikh Qassem bin Hamad Al-Thani, who was the minister of Youth and Sports at the time. He approved their request, resulting in the formation of Al Sadd Sports Club. Many of the early players and supporters were remnants of Al Ahrar SC, a club which was dissolved in the 1966/67 season.

They won their first official QSL title in 1973–74. Sadd, along with Al Arabi andAl Rayyan, went on to dominate Qatari football in the 70s and the 80s by winning many Qatari League trophies and Emir Cups.

They became the first Arab club side to triumph in the Asian Club Championship by defeating Al Rasheed of Iraq on an aggregate of away goals. Twenty-three years later they were once again victorious in the top regional competition, now known as the Asian Champions League, earning a spot in theFIFA Club World Cup.

They finished third, becoming the first West Asian side to claim third place in the competition. They also managed a triple crown in regional football by winning the Arab Champions League in 2001 and the Gulf Club Champions Cup in 1991.