The ninth FIFA Club World Cup kicks off in Japan on Thursday 6 December. spoke exclusively to members of all seven teams participating in the global showpiece to gauge their feelings, hopes and dreams.

Click on the photo gallery in the top-right to see more of what the potential difference-makers of Japan 2012 had to say (click on the Photo Details tab and watch as a slideshow)

Chelsea's misfiring Spanish striker Fernando Torres says the tag of "'favourites' means nothing. It doesn't matter if you're favourite or not, you have to prove it on the pitch." His teammate, the sure-handed Czech net-minder Petr Cech describes the FIFA Club World Cup as "a special type of competition."

Elsewhere, Mexican rising star Jesus Zavala says his Monterrey "have a point to prove" after tumbling out early in last year's edition of the competition, despite being tipped for big things. Brazil's Corinthians arrive in Japan with a powerful, cohesive unit, and their young standout Paulinho is in confident mood, too, saying: "The team’s determination to fight for every competition we play in, while remaining humble and ambitious, is what sets us apart."

It's a different story for Oceania's representatives. "As an amateur club, it’s a big challenge and very difficult, but getting to the next stage for any team at this tournament is the aim, and we're no different," says Ivan Vicelich, of New Zealand's national team, and standard bearer of part-timers Auckland City.

Gedo, of Egyptian giants Al Ahly, promises the fans of Japan: "excitement and fantastic football" when the champions of Africa play, while recently crowned Asian player of the year, Lee Keunho of Ulsan Hyundai claims, grandly, about his South Korean dreamers: "Our team has good communication and organisation; we are almost flawless in all departments."

Also, you can click on the headlines to the right to read complete exclusive feature stories about the seven club sides taking aim at Barcelona's coveted world title here in Japan.