African Champions League winners Esperance believe they can cause an upset and reach the FIFA Club World Cup final next month.
The Tunisian giants were drawn to face Asian champions Al-Sadd in the quarter-finals of the annual tournament, which features seven teams from FIFA’s six continental confederations.
They will have to overcome Al-Sadd and European champions Barcelona if they are to emulate the feat of DR Congo side TP Mazembe, who reached last year’s final before suffering a 3-0 defeat by Italy’s Inter Milan.
“It’s a good draw. Everyone is expecting to see a final between Santos and Barcelona but maybe they can watch a final between Esperance and Santos instead!” Esperance football director Riadh Bennour was quoted as saying by FIFA.com.
“We will try to make it happen, that’s for sure.”
Esperance will make their maiden Club World Cup appearance after winning their second Champions League title last week following a 1-0 home victory over Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca.
They open their campaign against Al-Sadd, who lifted the Asian Champions League trophy at the expense of South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors.
“We are very happy we the draw result and want to give ourselves the opportunity to play against the best team in the world,” Al Sadd football director Jafal Rashid said.
“But the main objective for us is to give the best impression of our football.”
The tournament runs from December 8-18.