Bay­ern in a foot­ball mis­match

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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