Advertisement

Club World Cup: Rafa feeling jetlag, not pressure in Japan

He’s done all this before.

Image: Koji Sasahara/AP/Press Association Images

CHELSEA BOSS RAFAEL  Benitez today denied feeling any added pressure going into the Club World Cup in Japan, despite his side exiting the Champions League at the first hurdle last week.

The London club, appearing in the intercontinental event for the first time, will take on Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-finals at Yokohama International Stadium on Thursday.

They come into the tournament on the back of a win at Sunderland on Saturday — a victory which ended a poor run of results, including two draws and a defeat in Benitez’s first three games in charge since replacing Roberto Di Matteo.

It also came days after the Blues became the first Champions League holders to fail to progress past the group stage of the premier European competition.

“I don’t have any problem in terms of pressure,” said Benitez, who won the Club World Cup as Inter Milan coach two years ago.

“I have some experience and I would like to enjoy every minute that I am here and try to do my best and try to win,” the Spaniard told a news conference in Yokohama.

If Chelsea triumph against the CONCACAF winners they will face either South American champions Corinthians or Egypt’s Al-Ahly in the final on December 16.

Benitez, who was sacked just five days after leading Inter to glory in 2010, said the Japan showpiece provided his team with a massive chance to collect some silverware.

“Everyone at this club has the same idea as me: to win every trophy that we can,” the 52-year-old said.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

“So we have this opportunity now. It doesn’t matter if we are in the Champions League or not.

“This one is very important for us.”

- © AFP, 2012

Mancini: Balotelli is throwing his talent out the window

VIDEO: And the award for most comical dive of the weekend goes to…

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)