Branko Ivankovic: Al Hilal are the best Asian team

September 25, 2017

Persepolis football coach Branko Ivankovic says they will have a difficult task Tuesday night since Al Hilal are best Asian team.

The Saudi Arabian team will host Persepolis in a much-awaited clash in the first leg of their 2017 AFC Champions League semi-final in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.

“We know well Al Hilal are the best team in Asia but Persepolis are well improved this year and are in fine form. We showed our strength in two matches against Al Ahli,” the Persepolis coach said in the pre-match news conference.

“We are the only team among four Asian teams who have qualified for the semifinals, relying on domestic players. We will do our best to book a place in the final round, that’s why we are here,” the Croat added.

Persepolis have missed their best striker Mehdi Taremi after the player was banned by FIFA for four months for breaching his contract with Turkish club Çaykur Rizespor.

“We will not have our best striker, who is one the best striker in Asia, but we have thought about his replacement. Taremi is as important for Persepolis as Carlos Eduardo is for Al Hilal,” Ivankovic stated.

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