Bayern in a football mismatch
BAYERN MUNICH could hardly have expected that their opponents in the final of the Club World Cup would be a team of average league players languishing in ninth place in the Moroccan championship.
The quirks of the competition, however, mean that is exactly who the European and Bundesliga champions will face when they take on Raja Casablanca in Marrakech today.
It is by far the biggest mismatch in the tournament’s history and, although Raja’s presence in the final will ensure huge local interest, the chasm which separates the sides may ultimately damage the competition’s credibility.
Raja’s entire squad is worth a modest 9.5 million on the transfer market, less than a quarter of the sum Bayern paid for Mario Goetze alone. The total value of the Bayern squad is 487.2m, more than 50 times as much as their opponents.
While Bayern have been sweeping everything before them at home, and are unbeaten in the Bundesliga since October last year, Raja’s results in the Moroccan league have been so bad they fired coach Mohamed Fakhir earlier this month.
The competition features the champions of Europe, South America, CONCACAF, Asia, Africa and Oceania – but Fifa allows the champions of the host nation to take part, which is how Raja got in. – Reuters