The Emirati football club Al-Jazira were the last to qualify in Group B. Group B is the group where India’s second-ever champions league participants Mumbai City FC are placed. 10 time ACL participant and 6-time Saudi Professional League champion Al-Shabab, 6 time ACL participant, and 7-time Iraqi Premier League champions Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (also known as ‘Air Force Sports Club’) are the other two teams in Group B alongside Al Jazira and Mumbai City FC. Al-Jazira qualified for the champions league by virtue of being the 2020–21 UAE Pro League champions.
ABOUT THE CLUB
Al-Jazira is based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The club was founded in 1974 following a merger between Al Khalidiyah Club and Al Bateen Club. Referred to as ‘The Pride of Abu Dhabi’, Al Jazira Club is widely known for its professional football team that plays at the 38,000-seater Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium and competes in the top tier of the domestic game, the Arabian Gulf League (also known as UAE Pro League), in addition to regularly featuring in the Asian Champions League. The Club boasts no fewer than seven other professional sports teams, all training and competing in the heart of Abu Dhabi.
The club is owned by Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (also known as Sheikh Mansour), who is also the chairman of the club. Mansour also owns the Abu Dhabi United Group, an investment group that owns the City Football Group, which has a majority stake in Mumbai City FC. Al Jazira Club is renowned for supporting home-grown talent development and the Club operates one of the finest youth football academies in the region. Al Jazira Club has a rich and successful history, winning the Federation Cup in 2006, The Gulf Clubs Championship in 2007, and the Etisalat Cup in 2009-2010. Al Jazira also clinched the Arabian Gulf League in 2011 and repeated the feat in 2017 and 2021. Their three President’s Cup successes were achieved in 2011, 2012, and 2016, while they also finished fourth in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup.
HOME STADIUM – Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium
Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium is the home stadium of Al Jazira FC. Located in Abu Dhabi, It carries the name of the current Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The stadium has been Al Jazira’s home since 1980, it was renovated and expanded in 2009. With a capacity of 37.000 seats, it is the largest club football stadium (and second-largest football stadium overall after Zayed Sports City) in the United Arab Emirates.
The stadium is called ‘Glory stadium’ because it hosted and witnessed so many historical and important matches and victories for the different UAE national teams. The stadium hosted matches of the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, and also hosted the matches in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup, 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, and also the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup, and recently the AFC Cup of Nations 2019 and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Head Coach – Marcel Keizer
Marcel started off as a technical coach of Dutch second division side FC Emmen. He was also the coach of Telstar for two seasons and took the reins at SC Cambuur in February 2016. In June 2016, he left Cambuur and became the coach of Jong Ajax, the reserve side of Ajax Amsterdam FC. In June 2017, Keizer became the coach of Dutch heavyweights Ajax Amsterdam. He signed on a two-year contract, after managing the youth side in the previous season, and replaced then Borussia Dortmund-bound Peter Bosz. In June 2018, he replaced retired compatriot Henk ten Cate (now at Al-Wahda) to become the new coach of Al-Jazira Club.
In November the same year, he was allowed to resign to take the job at Sporting CP, with Al-Jazira being unbeaten and in second place at the time. Keizer signed for the Lisbon-based club on a contract until 2021, and under his coaching Sporting completed a cup double in his first season, seizing both the Taça da Liga and Taça de Portugal. Keizer left Sporting in September 2019 and one month later he returned to Al Jazira on a two-year contract, after compatriot Jurgen Streppel left the Abu Dhabi-based club. In May 2021, he led the club to its third league title. It was also his first league title in his career as a manager.
TOP 5 PLAYERS AL-JAZIRA PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
1) Ali Mabkhout
2) Abdalla Ramadan
3) Milos Kosanovic
4) Thulani Serero
5) Abdoulay Diaby
AL-JAZIRA SQUAD FOR THE 2022 AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
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