FIFA Club World Cup Final Preview: several facts about Corinthians
Corinthians have secured the minimal 1-0 victory over the CAF champions Al-Ahly and are through to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup where they will face either Chelsea or Monterrey.
Judging by their semi-final match against Al-Ahly Corinthians have what it takes to win the title. Despite the lack of stars the Brazilian side is resilient and balanced enough to pose a challenge to Chelsea, should they reach the final. Let us consider the chances of the Brazilian side to claim the FIFA Club World Cup title.
Last year’s Copa Libertadores winners have finished fifth in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A 2011-2012. Several first-team players have left the club following the win in the South America’s Champions League - midfielder Alex signed the contract with Qatari Al-Gharafa, centre back Leandro Castán completed a move to Roma, forward Willian made a switch to FC Metalist Kharkiv and experienced striker Liédson joined Flamengo.
Despite above mentioned departures 51 year-old Corinthians coach Adenor Bacchi managed to keep the core of his squad and strengthened the defensive line by signing World Cup 2002 champion and former Sporting Lisbon defender Ânderson Polga. He has also added two forwards – 27 year-old Argentina international Juan Manuel Martínez and Peru national team leader Paolo Guerrero. Probably Corinthians lack star players such as Neymar or Ronaldinho, but we must not forget that even Neymar was helpless to prevent Santos’ 0-4 defeat to Barcelona last year.
UEFA Champions League 2012 winners are for sure not as mighty as Barcelona; however, hardly anyone doubts their win over Monterrey tomorrow. Chelsea’s coach Rafa Benitez is highly motivated to pass the Club World Cup test with flying colors as trigger-happy Chelsea owner Abramovich may fire him should his team lose either to the Mexican or the Brazilian side.
Benitez will never forget that he was sacked as Inter coach in 2010 despite claiming the Club World Cup title. And he knows for sure that the Club World Cup title will bring him neither love nor respect among the Chelsea fans. But the games against Monterrey and (hopefully) Corinthians will help him to fix Chelsea’s game, improve the connections between the players and build up confidence of the team. The Spanish coach will bend every effort to win the games against Monterrey and Corinthians. That is why tactics and discipline will be the name of the game for Corinthians, if they want to claim the Club World Cup title.
The Club World Cup final will take place in Yokogama, December 16. This game will be undoubtedly a joy to behold.
Photo: edmolly.com, sports.yahoo.com,uk.eurosport.yahoo.com, sportinglife.com
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