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AC Milan say goodbye to Dubai

5th January 2011 Print
AC Milan

The AC Milan team left Dubai earlier this week after spreading their football magic throughout the UAE.

Thousands of local fans have been following their Emirates-sponsored Winter Tour, which wrapped up last night with a 2-1 victory over Al Ahli Club in the Emirates Challenge Cup.

Over the past six days, local fans have been treated to a footballing feast as all training sessions at Al Ahli's Rashid Stadium in Al Quasais have been open to the public. AC Milan also held a training session on the beach at Al Mamzar and played football at the top of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

More than 8,000 fans turned up to watch the current Serie A leaders in action last night as they took on UAE team, Al Ahli Club. Mohammed Mattar, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Airport Services, was present to award the Emirates Challenge Cup to winning Captain, Massimo Ambrosini.

Despite the defeat, the local UAE team can be proud of their gutsy performance against the seven-time UEFA Champions League winners - not least because of a spectacular goal from Al Ahli's Hassan Ali, which thundered into the roof of the net.

“The goal of this match was for the players to go out and enjoy the moment, which they did. For them, this was a true footballers' dream, as they played against some of the world’s top football stars, and it was a fabulous opportunity. The team played well and gave it their best shot, and in the end we are proud of the game we played,” commented David O’Leary, Al Ahli’s Coach.

“With the second half of any season being the most important part, this match was a test for us as we worked hard here in Dubai to improve our fitness levels and get stronger with drills that worked the team to the core, said AC Milan Coach, Massimiliano Allegri. "We are now prepared to go back to Italy in fine form and feel ready for all of our upcoming matches, including all games to be played for the UEFA Champions League, which we plan on winning,” he added.

AC Milan veteran, Clarence Seedorf, reflected on the visit and praised Al Ahli's facilities. “We were impressed with the quality of the Al Ahli pitch and the facilities at the club are first rate. The training on the beach was especially enjoyable, as it was a real change from our normal training and tested our strength. The trip up the Burj Khalifa was an experience – to be at the top of the world’s tallest building that was truly a great opportunity for all of us," he said.

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AC Milan