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European Champs Barca prepare for FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match

2009-12-16 14:01 BJT

Estudiantes will know who they are facing in the final when La Liga giants Barcelona take on lowly Atlante in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Barca will head into the match as the undeniable favourites. They are top of La Liga, and unbeaten in 15 games this term. Three of their squad - Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Xavi - are among the five nominees for the FIFA World Player award for 2009. But that doesn't mean Atlante can be written off so soon.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) and Carles Puyol (R) take part in a training session at Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi December 15, 2009. Barcelona play CONCACAF champion Atlante on Wednesday in a FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match.REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) and Carles Puyol (R) take part in a 
training session at Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi December
 15, 2009. Barcelona play CONCACAF champion Atlante on Wednesday in
 a FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match.REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad 

The CONCACAF champions have vowed they will not be intimidated by the occasion or their illustrious opponents. The Mexican side are looking to become the first team outside Europe or South America to reach the FIFA Club World Cup decider. Despite the seemingly inferior opposition, coach Josep "Pep" Guardiola is taking nothing for granted.

Josep "Pep" Guardiola of FC Barcelona head coach says, "They have quality, they have many, many players with a good sense of the game - the same as us. Maybe in Europe the speed (of the game) is a little bit higher but we never know what is going to happen tomorrow but they will want to play, I am sure. If you let them make these kind of plays we are going to suffer, for sure definitely."