Kashiwa Reysol-Monterrey, Toyota Stadium, Sunday, 11 December 2011, 19:30 (local time)
Kashiwa Reysol are certainly on a roll at the moment. After securing the J.League title on the last day of the season, they then went on to qualify for the quarter-finals at their first-ever FIFA Club World Cup with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Auckland City. That result was also the biggest margin of victory recorded by a Japanese team in the history of the competition, equalling Urawa Red Diamonds' 3-1 win over Sepahan back in 2007.
Monterrey are also making their debut at the FIFA Club World Cup. The Mexican club qualified courtesy of their CONCACAF Champions League success, where they went unbeaten throughout their 12-match campaign, winning nine of them. Los Rayados will be looking to Aldo de Nigris, Humberto Suazo and Cesar Delgado to provide the goals.
14 - Luis Perez played in his maiden FIFA tournament 14 years ago, when he represented Mexico at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Egypt 1997. He has since gone on to play in the FIFA Club World Cup Brazil 2000, the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004, the FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. This is, therefore, the sixth time that the Monterrey captain is taking part in a FIFA tournament.
"We're taking each match as it comes and not even thinking about possibly meeting Santos in the semis. First we've got to take on Monterrey – they're the reigning CONCACAF champions with a team full of top-quality players, including a few internationals. Monterrey have been focusing on this tournament and will be looking to show the world just how strong Mexican football is. It's going to be a real test for us. Fortunately they don't tend to sit back and defend, which means that we'll hopefully be able to find a few openings," Nelsinho Baptista, Kashiwa Reysol coach.
"A tournament like this is the only chance that Mexican football has to really show what it's worth. We have every chance, and the team are in good shape at the moment. They're strong, talented, solid and they're also hungry for success, which is another important aspect. To tell you the truth, we're looking to go all the way," Victor Vucetich, Monterrey coach