Buenos Aires, Nov 25 (IANS) Argentinian football club River Plate’s coach Marcelo Gallardo admitted that Barcelona “is the best team in the world” even though he urged caution as his team may face the Spanish giants in the FIFA Club World Cup final. “When they (Barcelona) lost against Celta Vigo, they said they woke up. They have been the best team in the world for some time,” Gallardo said on Tuesday, reports Xinhua. In any case, it is not the time to think about the upcoming Club World Cup as his team will play the second leg of the Copa Sudamericana semifinal against Huracan on Thursday.
River Plate lost 0-1 in the first leg played at home in the Monumental Stadium here. “In order to be able to think about a possible final with Barcelona, we have to first think about playing another final and for that we need to win against Huracan. I’m trying to make everyone think about this. However, it is difficult because the team have been thinking about Japan for a while,” said Gallardo.
Gallardo also regretted that some of his most important players, such as midfielder Matias Kranevitter and Uruguayan Carlos Sanchez, will leave the club next year. “Knowing they are leaving is counterproductive for the players and for that reason, I have to keep an eye on them everyday to know how committed to the team they still are,” added the 39-year-old.
In December, River Plate will play in the Club World Cup as the current champions of the Copa Libertadores de America. They won the title in July for the first time in 19 years, knocking out arch rivals Boca Juniors on the way to the final. Due to their Copa Libertadores win, River Plate will enter the Club World Cup at the semi-final stage and their opposition is yet to be determined.
They could go on to face Barcelona, which would include facing fellow countrymen Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano in the final, if both teams win their respective semi-finals.