Raja Casablanca's FIFA Club World Cup final clash with Bayern Munich is the stuff of dreams for the Moroccan outfit. Whatever the result, the side are sure to have gained many fans during the tournament.
|FIFA Club World Cup Final 2013|
|Fixture||Date, K/O Time||Venue|
|Bayern Munich vs. Raja Casablanca||Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. GMT, 2:30 p.m. ET||Marrakech Stadium, Morocco|
While it's easy to suggest the European champions will sweep the Green Devils aside without a second thought, Pep Guardiola's side will be dealing with a team that is unlikely to face a bigger game in its storied history.
Casablanca have won 11 Moroccan league championships, seven domestic cups and three CAF Champions League titles, but they earned their ticket to this year's competition by claiming the Moroccan Botola title, and not through the usual route of winning their zone-based club tournament.
Seen as the weakest team in the FIFA Club World Cup by many, it's remarkable to witness Casablanca's ascension to the final. Stars and sprinkles are added when you consider the side take on Bayern—last season's treble winners—in their adopted home of Marrakech.
Raja's 2-1 opening win over Auckland City boosted the side's confidence massively, providing Faouzi Benzarti's men with the platform on which to excel.
The following 2-1 victory over Al-Ahly was even more impressive, especially as it was against the team that qualified via the CAF Champions League triumph, a competition Raja failed to qualify for last term.
Then came the tie with Atletico Mineiro. It was easy to overlook Raja until the moment they stunned the Copa Libertadores winners.
A terrific atmosphere helped Benzarti's men topple the towering challenge with a 3-1 win, providing the first African-based variation of this competition with a home favourite to root for in the final.
Bayern have enjoyed an easier route to the last match, entering the competition with a 3-0 win over China's Guangzhou Evergrande at the semi-final stage, suggesting Guardiola's team will have plenty in the tank when they line up against their famous underdogs.
The competition marks a change in emphasis heading toward Christmas, something Bayern players have been key to lap up:
A victory for Bayern will see them land their fifth piece of silverware this year, while a win for Raja would undoubtedly be one of the biggest upsets ever to grace the game.