The guessing game is over. As expected, AC Milan and Boca Juniors will run out at the International Stadium in Yokohama on Sunday to contest the final of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007.
In a repeat of their 2003 showdown, the big two, the only outfits to have won the Intercontinental (Toyota) Cup three times, will square off to decide the world's champion club. And with the Argentinians having prevailed four years ago, the Rossoneri will not need much motivation.
The gameAC Milan vs. Boca Juniors, Yokohama, Sunday 16 December, 19.30 (local time).
Sunday's final represents a perfect opportunity for both sides to atone for inconsistent domestic campaigns. What is more, the Italians are still smarting from their penalty shoot-out defeat to the Xeneizes four years ago, while Boca, who will take to the field with only two survivors from that triumph, are hungry to return to the pinnacle of world club football.
Neither side has any injury worries although Miguel Russo will be without the suspended Fabian Vargas, who was sent off against Etoile du Sahel.
No other clubs in world football can match the three Intercontinental titles won by both Boca Juniors and AC Milan. The question is, which of the two will move into a league of their own in Yokohama?
Milan's reserve keeper, Zeljko Kalac, turns 35 on Sunday and victory for the European champions will make his birthday cake taste all the sweeter.
"We are proud to be playing another final in this jersey and to have the chance to bring even more glory to the club. We're up against Boca, and that brings back painful memories of the 2003 final. To lose that game was bitterly disappointing, but now we got a chance to go back and put things right. And when you remember we've got quite a few Brazilians in the side, it should make it an even more special occasion. I'm confident we can do it." Kaka, AC Milan midfielder.
"A lot of people say the Europeans don't really care that much about these competitions, but I can tell you none of the Milan players enjoyed seeing us celebrate in 2003 and going away empty-handed. We have the utmost respect for them because they're a great side, but we've got our strengths and we know what we have to do. I hope we can take the title home again." Sebastian Battaglia, Boca Juniors midfielder.