x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Ahli now target treble tops, says Hugo Viana

With two titles already in the bag, Ahli are focused on rewriting the history books, starting with Tuesday's Asian Champions League decider in Qatar.

Al Ahli's Hugo Viana, centre, is targeting the AFC Champions League. AFP / April 1, 2014
Al Ahli's Hugo Viana, centre, is targeting the AFC Champions League. AFP / April 1, 2014

Riding the crest of a wave, Al Ahli have set their sights on securing a place in the record books this season, according to their midfielder Hugo Viana.

The Arabian Gulf League champions added the Arabian Gulf Cup to their trophy cabinet on Saturday, defeating Al Jazira 2-1 in the final at Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

The success ensures Ahli retain hopes of clinching an unprecedented domestic treble, with the Dubai club still to meet Al Ain in the President’s Cup final on May 18.

However, before that they can achieve another milestone when Ahli travel to Qatar knowing a draw against Al Sadd would see the club for the first time progress to the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League.

“We are hungry to win everything this season,” Viana said. “We want to make history in the UAE, so that’s our target now. If we win the President’s Cup we’ll be the first team to win everything in one season, and also if we beat Al Sadd it’ll be the first time Al Ahli has gone through in the Champions League.

“We want to do this and will do everything to achieve that.”

Viana, who described lifting the Arabian Gulf Cup as a “perfect feeling”, has enjoyed a superb introductory season to UAE football following last summer’s transfer from Sporting Braga, in Portugal.

The playmaker has another year to run on his contract and insists he would like to see that out, although his focus now is on Tuesday’s crunch Group D clash in Doha.

“Now we have another final, so we have to recover well in these two days,” he said. “But winning makes it easier for us. We will be ready for the Champions League.”

jmcauley@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE