Al Hilal star duo ready for ACL showdown with Urawa

Al Hilal foreign stars Carlos Eduardo and Nicolas Milesi are eagerly anticipating their AFC Champions League final against Urawa Red Diamonds in November.

2017 has been a fine year for Al Hilal on the continental front, with the Saudi Arabian giants sweeping aside all that have stood in their path in the West zone to book their place in the final of Asia’s premier club competition.

Having previously been crowned champions on the continent in 1991 and 2000, Al Hilal are eyeing a third title with their final hurdle coming in the form of Japan’s Urawa.

For now, the tie is looking to close to call but Al Hilal will have home advantage in the first leg on November 18, before they travel to the Saitama Stadium 2002 seven days later for the return encounter.

While Milesi is under no illusions that it will be a tough task, he sees no reason why he and his team-mates should not be dreaming of bringing the trophy back to Riyadh.

“It won’t be easy against Urawa and, as we have seen throughout the season, they have performed very well,” the Uruguayan said, on the Asian Football Confederation’s official website.

“This will be my first AFC Champions League final and, personally, I have been very impressed by the intensity and level of competition.

“But we are confident we can bring the trophy home.”

Having only joined Al Hilal last year, Milesi has already established himself as a key component of Ramon Diaz’s side.

When his side do not have the ball, the 24-year-old’s combative approach is a huge asset but, once they are in possession, he has also displayed the vision and skill to carve out chances with his passing.

One man that benefitted largely from Milesi’s distribution has been Carlos Eduardo, who already has seven goals to his name in this year’s tournament.

“Milesi has added stability in our midfield,” explained the Brazilian.

“He is an excellent reader of the game and his ability to break the opposing attack is one of the main reasons we are a different team this year.

“Since I arrived here, I can say with some confidence that this is the best team we have had since. Every one of these players is fully committed to winning this trophy for our fans.”

Likewise, Milesi was effusive in his praise of his fellow South American, saying: “I know his style of play, when he will make the runs, and how to find him in space. He is a fantastic talent for us.

“It certainly helps a lot that you have someone like Carlos who you can rely on to perform on the big stage.

“We are proud to have him in our team.”

While Carlos Eduardo has been in fine form so far in 2017, one man that has been more prolific for Al Hilal has been Omar Kharbin, who is currently the Champions League’s joint-top scorer alongside Brazil international Hulk on nine goals.