Okay. It’s… ooh… five past four in the morning, and time for some final thoughts in the World Club Cup. Did the best team win? Well, the layout of it the competition didn’t really allow us to find out. Do Europe’s top sides simply not take it seriously? Are the Brazilian club sides really that good? These are largely imponderables, but the evidence us weighing up more and more with the South Americans with each time that they win. You can, ultimately, only do as much as win the tournament that you’re entered into – as per Sao Paolo and Corinthians before them, SC Internacionale entered the tournament and won it. It’s the most that they could have done. Of course, Barcelona will be in the process of returning to Catalunya now, probably muttering darkly to themselves about this cup not really mattering anyway. They were magnificent against Club America in the semi-final, but never really managed to stamp their authority on the final. They had most of the play, and created more chances than Inter, but it doesn’t mean anything if you lose after ninety minutes.
It’s also worth pointing out that no-one really disgraced themselves. Ahly SC thoroughly deserved third place, with two solid wins against Auckland City and Club America coming either side of a narrow defeat by Inter. Club America were a disappointment but, coming off the back of will-sapping play-off defeat, perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised at their below par turn-out. Finally, the outsiders. Jeonbuk stretched Club America more than most would have expected, and found their form against Auckland City. The amateurs from New Zealand may return home disappointed with not managing a goal in their two matches, but they created chances and the increase in their public profile that they will have received might just bring the investment so that they can raise their game. There’s a very good chance that they’ll be back next year.
This competition has been a fantastic opportunity for me, and it has been a magnificent experience. Real once in a lifetime stuff. I have, of course, a few thanks to make. Thanks, primarily, to Suleimen and all the guys at OleOle, for giving me this opportunity. Rest assured that I will be continuing to contribute. Thanks also to Chris, Mauricio and Jennifer for putting up with me for the week. Most of all, though, thanks to the people that regularly read this site. I can’t answer whether I would still be doing this if it no-one had ever looked at it. So, thanks to all of you that have encouraged me to keep going with this little project.