As most teams in Europe’s top league prepare themselves this weekend for the final game of the first half of the 2009-2010 season, it will be all systems go in the Middle East when Europe’s finest go head-to-head against South America’s finest in the final of the world club championship.
The competition currently being held in Abu Dhabi, the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates, will culminate when the two teams in question FC Barcelona of Spain and Estudiates of Argentina face off in what boxing fans can call it a Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquio show down.
To reach the final, Barcelona managed to overcome Atlante of Mexico 3-1 after a nervous start to that game. On the other hand, their counterparts Estudiates defeated Pohang Steelers of South Korea 2-1 in temperamental match that saw the Koreans receive three red cards.
On paper, Barcelona will walk into the stadium as firm favorites to lift the title but they will be cautious of their opponents since they have the inspirational captain Sebastian Veron controlling the midfield and Mauro Boselli leading the goal hunt. Furthermore the last time the Catalan giants went into the world club championship final in 2006 as favorites, they lost the match by a solitary goal.
In 2006, the Estudiates star began shinning when they won the Argentina league after a very long title drought. Mid this year, they cemented their credibility as the best in the continent by winning the Copa Libertadores, the South America’s version of the champions league. It’s on this fact that they wont be pushovers even though they will be considered the underdogs.
One interesting thing is how Argentines will deal with the dilemma of either supporting their local club Estudiates or supporting their country’s current best player Lionel Messi as he dazzles the world with his sensational moves.