Benitez: The Club World Cup is “a thing”
Rafael Benitez will take up opportunity #16327253 to prove to suspicious Chelsea fans that he’s the real deal in football management – by flying off to Japan to try and bring home the Club World Cup.
December 10th, 2012
While it doesn’t carry the same auspicious ring to it as, say, the Champions League or The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, to the Chelsea manager the World Club Cup is every bit the “massive competition” he felt it was when winning it as Inter coach in 2010.
“I think everyone here in this club has the same idea as me, to win every trophy that you can,” he said this week.
Fans might accuse the Spaniard of having his priorities wrong – after all it’s only back-to-back victories against Sunderland and a high-scoring display against Nordsjaelland that have kept the press wolves from his door – but with first blood going to Man United in the derby this weekend, fans feel that Chelsea‘s title intentions ought to be made known from a location closer to home than Mount Fuji.
The Blues begin their assault on the World Club Cup on Thursday with a semi-final game against CONCACAF champions Monterrey of Mexico. While the tournament has the full support of all footballing confederations, its previous guises came under heavy criticism for not lending an air of grandeur to proceedings. Asked about feeling pressure, Benitez – who also coached Liverpool to the WCC runners-up spot in 2005 – remained stoic.
“I don’t have much problems in terms of pressure…I have so much experience, and I would like to enjoy every minute here – to do my best and try to win.”
Chelsea aim to follow in the footsteps of red rivals United, who beat Liga de Quito with ten men four years ago to become the first English champions of the World in this format.