Football

What does it mean to Barcelona to be World Champions again?

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Barcelona are in Japan preparing for the Club World Cup finals. It gives the Catalans a chance to become "World Champions" again and have the gold badge adorn the Blaugrana for the next 12 months.

The kudos associated with the same has never really whetted the appetite for the masses, the competition being seen as second rate in many quarters.

It certainly isn't as prestigious a competition as the Champions League, for example, but given that it is the best teams in the world that are fighting for the crown, the Club World Cup really should be up there as the pinnacle in club football. The title that every team on every continent aspires to.

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Barca certainly won't be happy to come away from Japan empty handed and, if we cast our minds back to 2009 and 2011, the Catalans celebrated both victories heartily.

Best in show

It says much about the context the Blaugrana give to the competition and clearly it is still a big deal for them to be associated with being the best club in world football.

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Not that it needs a trophy to indicate what is blindingly obvious to anyone who has more than a passing interest in the beautiful game.

Barca firstly have to overcome either Guangzhou Evergrande of the Chinese A-League in the semi-final before a potential clash with Argentina's River Plate in the final on Sunday, December 20.

Neymar concern

Most observers have already got River Plate and Barca down as the finalists, but that is a little presumptuous.

From Barca's point of view, Neymar's injury is a concern. The Brazilian will definitely not be playing in any semi-final and perhaps might not even appear in the final should Barca get there.

However, his father thinks that his son will make an appearance, per ESPN Brazil: "They [Barcelona] are enjoying a great moment and if the club makes it past the first match.

"Neymar would play the final since Barcelona are the huge favorite to succeed Real Madrid as Club World Cup champion."

After the disappointment of losing to a Messi-inspired Barca whilst he was at Santos in 2011, Neymar will want to be on the winning side this time and to play a full part after missing out on the Spanish cup final earlier this season thanks to contracting mumps.

Complacency

Complacency and insouciance are the only two reasons why Barcelona wouldn't take this competition seriously, and neither fit in the Barca vernacular.

The Blaugrana are a club that do things exceptionally professionally across the board.

Therefore, it would mean everything to all associated with them to call themselves a world champion once again.

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Topics:
Neymar
La Liga
Football
Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez
Barcelona
UEFA Champions League

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