Wayne Rooney believes that winning the FIFA Club World Cup on Sunday would be a major boost for Manchester United going into the New Year and send a powerful message of intent to their Premiership rivals.
United will return to England on Monday with two games to make up on Liverpool and Chelsea and Rooney thinks beating South American champions Liga de Quito will send their confidence sky high.
"We are in quite a strong position in the league and if we can go back as champions of the world it would be a big boost for us and a platform for the second half of the season," he told manutd.com/
"It would also send out a powerful message."
Rooney and his team-mates will be closely watching how the Premiership unfolds this weekend with Liverpool playing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and Chelsea at Everton on Monday. But his main focus will be on beating Liga and adding another winner's medal to his growing collection.
"It had never been in my mind about winning the world championship. When I joined United the targets were the obvious ones like the Premier League and the Champions League," said Rooney, who scored twice in their 5-3 victory over Gamba Osaka on Thursday.
"But the chance to play in this competition has really excited me. I would love to have a complete set of winners' medals. I've got the Champions League, two Premier League titles, the Carling Cup and the Community Shield already.
"I was disappointed to lose the Super Cup earlier in the season and I have lost two FA Cup Finals, so the Club World Cup medal is something I'm desperate to get because who knows when you get the chance again."
He also wants to win it for the travelling Manchester United fans and their huge support base in Japan.
"Our fans who were here for the semi-final were singing 'Champions of England, Champions of Europe' and it would sound even better for them to add 'Champions of the world,'" said Rooney. "So we want to win it for them and ourselves."