2019 fifa club world cup

Flamengo keen to avoid semifinal pitfalls against Al Hilal

Doha, Qatar: Flamengo have the tradition, they have world-class players such as Gabriel Barbosa, Rafinha, Bruno Henrique, Filipe Luis, and they have the tag which makes them special for as long as the game is played – Brazilian.

And it's only natural that they will start as favourites when they take on AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal in the semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Wednesday.

Besides, in Jorge Jesus, they have a coach who knows all about Hilal having trained them in 2018-2019.

"In Brazil, there's a lot of talk about Liverpool, but they forgot that we have to play a semifinal before. We remember many Brazil teams have lost in the semifinals of Club World Cup and we do not want to make the same mistakes," said Jesus at the pre-match press conference.

 Al Hilal are a good team which is not well known there but they are a team I know well, almost all of the Hilal players have worked with me and I know the value of this team," said the Portuguese coach.

In fullback Rafinha, Flamengo have a player who has already won the FIFA Club World Cup – with Bayern in 201- but their true strength lies in their attack where Gabriel Barbosa and Bruno Henrique could be more than a handful for any team in the world.

Flamengo defeated Argentinian side River Plate in an ill-tempered Copa Libertadores final last month, while back home in Brazil they are already thinking about the final with European champions Liverpool.

Hilal, however, are not going to be an easy proposition.

Bafétimbi Gomis, who scored the remarkable winner against Esperance Sportive de Tunis in their opening match, is ready to continue with his peculiar goal celebrations while Sebastian Giovinco, another player joined during the time of Jesus, will also start having recovered from an injury.

Hilal coach Radvan Lusecu is well aware of the talent the Brazilians possess, but he wants to concentrate on his team's strength.

"It's true that Brazil produce the biggest number of talented players, but football is not just about talent," said Lucescu.

"It's also about, organisation, movement, interpretation of the game and how a team or the players perform on a given day. We have huge motivation. We are on top of our game after ending 19 years of wait of our fans by winning the AFC Champions League. We will play with enthusiasm and confidence knowing that we are facing one of the best teams in the world."

The match starts at 8.30 pm. 


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