Khalid Al Hashemi was just six when Al Ain clinched their lone Asian Champions League title in 2003. Fast-forward to 2024, and Al Hashemi is no longer a mere football enthusiast; he has made a name for himself as a stout defender capable of holding off renowned players like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Having earned 14 international caps, the Emirati footballer is eager to defend Al Ain FC's colors at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in a crucial match against Yokohama F. Marinos. Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Al Ain is determined to stage a comeback and claim long-awaited continental glory.

Al Hashemi, a key figure in their victories over Al Nassr and Al Hilal, aims to inspire his team to secure the coveted trophy. However, the support of their devoted fans will also be pivotal in this decisive encounter.

The defender is confident that the fans' fervor will elevate the team's performance and is hopeful that their belief and confidence will propel them to success. Al Ain's previous near-misses in 2005 and 2016 have only fueled their desire to bring joy to their nation by lifting the trophy once more.

As they prepare to face Yokohama F. Marinos in the second leg, Al Ain is primed to confront the unique challenges posed by the Japanese team. Al Hashemi emphasizes the need for meticulous preparation and caution, especially in dealing with Yokohama's defensive tactics and swift counter-attacks.

The defender's insights reveal the meticulous approach and strategic focus that Al Ain is adopting as they gear up for the crucial battle at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

Asian Champions League finalSecond legSaturdayAl Ain vs Yokohama F. MarinosHazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain8 pm UAE TimeYokohama F. Marinos won the first leg 2-1 in Japan on May 11