Kenyan Michael Olunga and Moroccan Medhi Benatia are the only two African players named in Al Duhail’s 23-man squad submitted to Fifa for the Club World Cup tournament.
Al Duhail will face off with reigning African champions, Al Ahly of Egypt, in the first match of the tourney set to kick off on February 4.
Al Duhail, founded in 2009, will be making their debut at the biggest club competition and a win against the Egyptians giants will guarantee them a ticket to the semi final where they will face off with German and European champions, Bayern Munich.
Olunga, the Kenya striker who joined the Dubai side last December from Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol will be playing in the Fifa Club World Cup for the very first time.
Al Duhail made it to the tournament following the withdrawal of Auckland City of New Zealand.
Olunga heads to the tournament in good form with three goals in three games after a a hat trick in the last game last time out.
The former Girona and Djugardens striker is upbeat that the 12-year-old Al Duhail will capitalize on the home ground advantage to advance to the next stage.
“Of course we respect them, but we do not fear them,” Olunga told beIN Sports.
“This is not a friendly game we’ll be playing,” he cautioned.
“We will be playing at home, we will have our fans and it is going to be a good and balanced game but at the end of the day, we will have to stick to our philosophy as a team.
“All the Duhail fans and of course all the Qatari fans will be rallying behind us and they would want us to go as far as possible and that is going to be a big fete for the club just founded in 2009.”
So how does the prospect of playing Bayern feel for a player who has not even watched them play in a stadium?
“It is going to be a big moment if we can achieve the feat and compete against the best European club of last season.
“Beating Al Ahly and facing Bayern Munich is a dream for everyone in our dressing room. It is every player’s dream to be at the semi-final of Fifa Club World Cup,” Olunga, who finished as the Most Valuable Player in the Japanese League last season, said.