Boca Juniors make their debut in the FIFA Club World Cup against surprise semi-finalists Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia. With a place in the final at stake, the South American champions will be keen to stamp their authority on a stage they know well, although the Africans are not to be taken lightly, as they showed by dispatching Pachuca on Sunday.
Etoile du Sahel vs. Boca Juniors, Wednesday 12 December, 19:30 (Tokyo)
After missing out in the Copa Sudamericana and the Argentinian Apertura Championship, Boca are now giving top priority to the FIFA Club World Cup. Having failed to register Juan Roman Riquelme in time, coach Miguel Russo will be looking for a solid team effort to get the job done. Fresh from their unexpected defeat of Pachuca, the Tunisians now face an even more daunting challenge in their bid to shock the world and make off with the title.
Both teams will be at full strength for Wednesday's clash.
Teams from the two continents have met twice before in the competition with victory going to the South American representatives on both occasions. Corinthians beat Raja Casablanca of Morocco 2-1 back in 2000, while Internacional of Porto Alegre defeated Egypt's Al Ahly by the same scoreline last year. Will it be a case of third time lucky for the Tunisians or can the Buenos Aires giants keep the run going?
Tunisian Mejdi Traoui celebrates his 24th birthday on Thursday and victory over Boca the previous day is most definitely at the top of his wish list.
"A lot of people are talking about a final with Milan but we know very well that we've got a really tough game ahead of us here. This is football and you can never predict what's going to happen, and while it was a surprise to see Etoile win, I was happy about it all the same. We don't know too much about them but fortunately we were at the game the other day. It just goes to show that you can't take anything for granted in football." Miguel Russo (Boca Juniors coach).
"Boca are a very strong side, more so than Pachuca, and they're one of the world's big clubs. Diego Maradona played for them. Obviously taking them on will be another dream come true for us on this adventure. We've seen them on video and we know they've got some top-class players like Martin Palermo, a star performer who scores a lot of goals. But we've got our strong points and by working together as a team we believe we can get the result." Bertrand Marchand (Etoile du Sahel coach).