Club World Cup magic stirs Tade

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 2 December 2017

Picture: Phototek

AL AIN, UAE - Auckland City FC striker Emiliano Tade sees the FIFA Club World Cup as a chance for the Navy Blues to continue building on their recent resurgence.

The Navy Blues will tackle UAE champions Al Jazira in the opening match of the Club World Cup next Thursday (6am NZST) in a match that invokes a passion in Tade he's possessed since he was a child - his love of football.

To make it even more special, Tade's family will arrive in Al Ain early next week for a rare opportunity to watch him play.

“The FIFA Club World Cup is a very special competition and particularly where I come from, Argentina, everyone is football crazy, everyone lives and breathes the game.

"I grew up supporting Boca Juniors and playing at a competition like the Club World Cup is something you dream about. Being here brings those childhood memories back and its very hard to put into words how that feels.

"I didn't have the chance to play football in front of my parents as a child but to have that now in the Club World Cup brings something special to the occasion," he said.

The Navy Blues moved from Dubai to Al Ain today and were put through their paces by coach Ramon Tribulietx during two intensive training sessions following the cancellation of a second planned friendly.

If gracing the field at Al Ain is not already enough to have Tade and the Navy Blues jumping out of their skin, there are a number of other motivations to drive them to make sure the experience is a memorable one.

After an indifferent start to the season the Navy Blues have won five domestic games on the bounce and grabbed a 0-0 draw with UAE First Division outfit Al Ittihad. Its the type of form that has brought a growing positivity amongst the squad.

Tade knows the Navy Blues can use recent performances to start generating a string of positive results and build on the confidence levels that have been gradually increasing among his team-mates.

But just how this Auckland City FC team compares with those of the past is something he is uncertain of.

“We always ask this question every year, we always talk about it. Over time you become one of the experienced players and its hard to tell when you're on the inside whether or not the team is growing yet you hear people on the outside talk about that growth.

"We've been together as a group of players and coaching staff for a long period of time now with the same philosophy and playing style and that has made our team grow stronger," he said.

While club glory is at the forefront of Tade's thoughts there is also has a touch of added significance in that he will equal assistant coach Ivan Vicelich's record of 10 matches at a Club World Cup - the highest of any New Zealand club player in the tournament's history.

The overall record for most matches is split three ways among Hossam Ashour, Wael Gomaa and Mohamed Aboutrika with 11 appearances each. Team-mates Angel Berlanga and Takuya Iwata each have eight. Berlanga and Tade are each tied on a record six participations at the competition overall.

Tade speaks in glowing terms of Berlanga and how he has helped in his development as a player.

“Angel and I are very close friends. We've lived together, travelled together and he's the team-mate that has brought me a lot of knowledge and he's one of the players who has been at Auckland City FC since the beginning of our run of success.

"We always talk before and after games and Angel is a good example to everyone in the squad of what is required to be a successful player," he said.

Navy Blues Head Coach Ramon Tribulietx has two injuries to ponder with influential midfielder Mario Bilen recovering  positively from a knee problem while second choice goalkeeper Danyon Drake pulled up at training in Al Ain with a shoulder knock.

The squad received a major boost yesterday when Solomon Islands international Micah Lea'alafa joined the squad after his visa to enter the country was approved.

Ends

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