Raja gets ready for Bayern in Club World Cup final

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm •  Published: December 20, 2013
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MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — After sweeping aside Ronaldinho and Atletico Mineiro, Moroccan club Raja Casablanca is now trying to figure out how it can stop Bayern Munich in Saturday's Club World Cup final.

Raja surprised many by reaching the final, and is now one win from becoming the first club from outside Europe and South America to win the continental tournament.

"We will need the best of us to (win)," Raja coach Faouzi Benzarti said through a translator. "We know the character of the German teams. We should not let them attack us all the time."

Struggling in the domestic league, Raja hired Benzarti in the buildup to the tournament. The Tunisian, who has been coaching in north Africa since the 1970s, has since guided the club to three straight victories.

While the host club is certainly in good form after beating Brazilian club Atletico in the semifinals, Bayern is looking to finish off 2013 with a record-breaking fifth trophy.

The Germans have already won the Champions League, Bundesliga, German Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

"We're playing against a whole country, not just a team," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said on Friday. "It will be a tough, exciting final."

Bayern beat Asian champion Guangzhou Evergrande of China 3-0 in the semifinals, while Raja defeated Atletico Mineiro 3-1.

"Everyone expected Atletico Mineiro to make the final. No one, not even here in Morocco, thought Casablanca would make it," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "It's a surprise to everyone, us included."



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