Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

FIFA: Club World Cup Team Guide – Santos FC

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 9, 2011

Santos FC club badgeBrazilians Santos FC will participate in their first ever FIFA Club World Cup and are hoping to take the title back to South America after a five year period of domination for European clubs. Santos FC, who are based in Brazil’s second city of São Paulo, will face the winner of the quarter-final between Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol and North and Central American CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey CF on December 14th. Should Santos overcome that challenge then a meeting with UEFA Champions League holders FC Barcelona looks the most likely prospect. Having won the old Intercontinental Cup on two occasions back in the halcyon days of Pelé back in the sixties, Santos would revel in winning a world title in its current guise.

Santos qualified for this tournament by virtue of winning their third Copa Libertadores title in 2011, the club’s first win in this competition since 1963. Santos finished second, by virtue of goal difference, in their group behind Paraguayans Cerro Porteño and ahead of Chileans Colo Colo and Venezuelans Deportivo Tachira with a record of three wins, two draws and one defeat in six games. In the knockout phase Santos scraped past Club America in the Round of 16 and 2004 Copa Libertadores champions Once Caldas in the quarter-finals before meeting group rivals Cerro Porteño again in the semis. Having won that round by the odd goal in seven, Santos ended the campaign with a narrow 2-1 aggregate win in a bad-tempered final against Peñarol. Following a goalless first leg in Montevideo Santos made home advantage count in the return fixture. Neymar put Santos ahead just a minute into the second half before Danilo doubled their advantage twenty minutes later. The Uruguayans reduced the arrears with ten minutes remaining to set up a nervous finish but the Brazilians held on to win the Libertadores for the third time in their history.

Since Santos lifted the South American crown back in June they have been involved primarily in their national championship and, with the comfort blanket of a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores already assured, finished the league season in a comfortable tenth place in the 20 team Serie A. If Santos are to lift the FIFA Club World Cup this year they ought to remember not to get too complacent before their semi-final tie against supposedly weaker opponents especially after last season’s Libertadores winners, Internacional of Porto Alegre, went crashing out to African champions TP Mazembe in the semi-finals of the tournament played in the United Arab Emirates.


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