FC Bayern München are looking to capture a historic fifth title of 2013 on Saturday when they meet Raja Casablanca in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
While the European champions booked their place in the Marrakech showpiece with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday against Guangzhou Evergrande FC, their opponents have had to negotiate three fixtures. The hosts overcame Auckland City FC 2-1 in a quarter-final play-off, CF Monterrey by the same scoreline after extra time and, surprisingly, Copa Libertadores holders CA Mineiro 3-1 in the semi-finals.
One thing is for sure, the presence of the Moroccan title holders in the final, which starts at 20.30CET, guarantees for a special atmosphere. "It's like having the whole of Morocco behind us. You can achieve the most amazing things with support like that," said Raja's Chemseddine Chtibi, while team-mate Mouhssine Iajour added: "The dream is far from over yet and we'll be giving it all we have against Bayern, right up to the final whistle. We never give up. This team has got so much mental strength to draw on."
However, Bayern have a clear goal in mind: to cap an amazing year by lifting more silverware, having already won the Bundesliga, German Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup. "Everyone wants this title," said captain Philipp Lahm. "Only then can we calmly go on holiday." Mario Götze added: "It's a unique event. Who knows if I'll ever get the chance to take part in it again? I hope it'll be us lifting the trophy by the end of the game."
One player in the Bayern squad, Claudio Pizarro, has done that before. The Peru forward was in the team that defeated CA Boca Juniors 1-0 in the 2001 European/South American Cup, this tournament's predecessor, thanks to a goal from Samuel Kuffour in the second period of extra time.
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