David Luiz out to end Europe’s Club World Cup ‘monopoly’ with Flamengo

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David Luiz will be looking to add a third piece of silverware with Brazilian champions Flamengo in February, as the 35-year-old discussed his desire to break the run of nine consecutive European winners of the Club World Cup tournament.

Luiz was on the receiving end of defeat the last time a South American side won the club competition – former Peru international Paolo Guerrero fired home the only goal of the match in the 2012 showpiece as fellow Brazilian outfit Corinthians famously beat Chelsea to the silverware.
Luiz was awarded the Silver Ball as the second-best player of the 2012 tournament but wishes that he could have swapped the award for the Club World Cup trophy.
“I would swap, without any doubt,” he told FIFA.com.
“Unfortunately, Corinthians played really well that day. Especially Cassio, who was exceptional and was named the tournament’s best player. That’s football.

“But as a footballer you always want to be playing in the biggest competitions, and the Club World Cup is one every player wants to play in. On numerous occasions I’ve won; on numerous occasions I’ve lost. The Club World Cup is missing from my collection, so now I am on a mission to win this title.”

Boasting a strong squad which includes star veterans Arturo Vidal and Filipe Luis, as well as 2022 FIFA World Cup players Éverton Ribeiro, Pedro (both Brazil) and Uruguay’s Guillermo Varela and Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Flamengo will enter the club tournament in the semi-final phase alongside Spanish giants Real Madrid – setting up a potential final with the four-time Club World Cup winners.
“[They are] one of the best teams in the world with one of the best coaches in the world [in Carlo Ancelotti],” he said.
“Without doubt they are the big favourites. They’re the favorites in every competition they participate in because of their history, their know-how, how complete they are and the quality of their players [including Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema].

“But in football anything can happen. You saw that once again at the World Cup. Games can be decided by minor details. We’re trying to prepare our own weapons in the best way possible so that we will arrive at the competition prepared for every situation we could face.”

However, the former Chelsea and Arsenal man also cautioned his team not to take their semi-final opponent, the winner of the second-round match between Moroccan outfit Wydad AC and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal, lightly.
“I really hope [we win]. First, though, we have a semi-final that will be really, really difficult. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“These teams [from outside Europe and South America] are getting better and better, so we preparing as best we can and taking their challenge very seriously. Then the final would be even tougher. But we’ll give it our everything.”

Flamengo previously defeated Al-Hilal 3-1 in the semi-finals at their Club World Cup debut in 2019, where they would go on to lose 1-0 to Liverpool in the final courtesy of a Roberto Firmino winner in extra-time.
Luiz credited the side’s strong performance in the match as a source of encouragement in their quest to lift the 2022 trophy.
“I think Flamengo played really well in that final, but unfortunately came up just short,” Luiz said.

“[But] let’s not forget that Liverpool were a mighty force in those years. They were good everywhere – going forward, defensively. They didn’t win the Champions League, the Premier League for nothing. So I think Flamengo did really well to make it really difficult for such a team.”

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