It’s an honour for every player to play in this competition, says Esperance’s Khenissi
DOHA: Taha Yassine Khenissi was only 19 when he experienced his maiden FIFA Club World Cup from the sub's bench at Japan 2011.
Although he did not play against Qatar's Al Sadd and Mexico's Monterrey, he learned a lot from that tournament.
When Esperance Sportive de Tunis returned to the competition as CAF Champions League winners at UAE 2018, Khenissi was a key player in the side.
One year on, he is gearing up for another return to the global stage.
"It's an honour for every player to play in a competition like this," he told FIFA.com in an exclusive interview.
"Being with a major club like ES Tunis has given me the opportunity to take part in this important world tournament three times."
Reaching Qatar 2019 was no easy task for Khenissi and his team-mates.
As the defending champions, ES Tunis were the club everyone wanted to beat in last season's CAF Champions League.
"It was a difficult journey, especially when it came to playing a second final in less than six months," he said. "We had a lot of tough games, like the match against Algeria's CS Constantine and the final against Wydad Casablanca of Morocco. But we proved to be the best in Africa for the second year in a row."
Their third FIFA Club World Cup appearance, ES Tunis will again face Arab opposition in their tournament opener: a testing 'derby' against Asian champions Al Hilal. "They're a world-class club, not just the best side in Asia," said Khenissi.