Akram Afif (Al Sadd, Qatar): The best is yet to come
Doha: Al Sadd star Akram Afif has warned Persepolis his performance is only getting better the further the 2018 AFC Champions League progresses ahead of their semi-final clash against the Tehran giants next week. Leading scorer Baghdad Bounedjah and Spanish superstar Xavi may have hogged the headlines as Al Sadd reached the AFC Champions League semi-finals, but it is young Qatari talent Akram Afif who has been one of the real success stories of the Doha club's continental campaign.
And according to the 21-year-old forward, who was recently named AFC Champions League Toyota Player of the Week, the best is very much still to come.
"I am very happy with my progress, which has been aided by the coaching staff and my teammates," said Afif, who netted in both legs of the quarter-final as Al Sadd defeated Tehran's Esteghlal 5-3 on aggregate.
"My performance [in the AFC Champions League] is improving from game to game and I always strive for the best."
"We are delighted to go through to the semi-finals, despite having a tough time against Esteghlal. Seven of our players were away from the team during the pre-match preparations, due to international commitments.
"We could only come together just four days before the game. But we managed to deal with the game in the proper way and kept hold of our advantage from the first leg."
"We are now focusing on preparation for the big game against Persepolis in the AFC Champions League semi-finals," he added.
"We will continue working hard to always make our fans happy in all the games, our goal is to always give our best in every game."