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Mazembe president hails team spirit against Brazilian-less Internacional

TP Mazembe’s president revealed he motivated his players in their 2-0 win over Internacional in the club World cup semi-final

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 15 Dec 2010
Mazembe players celebrate their second goal

TP Mazembe’s president Moise Katumbi revealed that he motivated his players in their 2-0 win over Internacional in the Club World Cup semi-final by telling them that these were not the Brazilians they knew.

The African giants made history, Tuesday, when they became the first-ever African team to reach the final in the 10-year-old tournament.

"I think the whole team was playing very well. I went to talk to them (at halftime and said) 'now this is not Brazil which they are saying, you are better than them, you can do better than them, just like in the Bible David killed Goliath,” Katumbi was quoted as saying in The Times of India newspaper.

The four-time African champions were able to score goals during both halves, when Mulota Kabangu and Dioko Kaluyituka stun the lackluster 2006 champions.

"It was not an easy game, no one gave us a chance, they think you are coming to lose," added the Mazembe chief.

The Katumbi impact

The 46-year-old businessman and politician had a major role in TP Mazembe’s historical achievements.

He took over the Lubumbashi-based club in 2007 and fueled it with cash to solve the club's financial problems and rebuild a squad that would lead them to a back-to back CAF African Champions League title in 2009 and 2010.

He was able to bring in gifted players such as Alain Dioko Kaluyituka, who is on course to receive the African-based player of the year award, and Zambian forward Given Singuluma. Katumbi was also able to keep his own jewels, such as skipper and talisman Tresor Mputo, who missed the showdown as he is serving a year-long ban.

"I prepared this team (from) a long time ago,” concluded Katumbi, who, like the rest of Africa, can now be proud of his work and his boys.

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