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The BBC's Paul Newman
"Both sides deserve to be in the final"
 real 28k

Friday, 14 January, 2000, 10:01 GMT
Fans await all-Brazilian clash

Fans Friday's clash is a dream final for Brazilian football


With Manchester United and Real Madrid both failing to impress, the final of the first Fifa Club World Championship is, instead, an all-Brazilian affair.

On Friday, Corinthians and Vasco da Gama will be vying for the title of the world's best team.

It is undoubtedly a dream final for Brazilian fans. Both sides are three-times national champions and the stars on display at the Maracana - Romario, Edmundo, Juninho, Edilson, Freddy Rincon, Vampeta, Dida among others - are arguably the world's best.


Rom_edmundo Romario and Edmundo have combined superbly for Vasco
Vasco's Edmundo promised the match would be a huge contest.

"We have all dreamed of this," he said.

"I wouldn't miss this game for anything in the world, not even if they rip all the muscles out of my body."

Vasco, who have home advantage, have bolstered their roster for the tournament with a handful of top-level stars, not least striker Romario who will be searching for his 700th goal.

"Officially I'm on 699 goals, including the one I got against Necaxa on Tuesday," he said.

"I had the impression I'd scored a lot more than that.

"I have never stopped to count them all, but it would be great to get the 700th officially in the World Club final."


Edilson Edilson is one of many Brazilian stars on show
Just weeks after Flamengo sacked him for going to a nightclub following an important defeat, Romario, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994, is now on the verge of making his new side the best in the world.

"For me this has been like a World Cup," he said. "Since December 19 I have been concentrating on the event with the team in a hotel and I've hardly been out, perhaps a couple of times, to see my kids.

"You can't put a price on this title. It will be worth it to have made some sacrifices."

Vasco will be without injured defenders Jorginho and Junior Baiano for the clash, while Corinthians are likely to be without star defender Joao Carlos.

Rincon said: "We'll have to be careful, because in this kind of game you pay dearly for a mistake.

"We must win, because then we will be part of the great history of the club. The years will pass and no one will forget us."

Spain's Real Madrid will play Mexico's Necaxa in the third-place play-off.

Real Madrid lost to Corinthians on goal difference in Group A, while Necaxa fought off European treble champions Manchester United to finish a strong second to Vasco in Group B.

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See also:
11 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Fortune fails to save Man Utd
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Vasco secure final spot
10 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
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11 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
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29 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
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Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.