Moroccan champions Raja Casablanca deafeat Brazil's Atletico Mineiro 3-1
Raja will now face Bayern Munich in FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday
Brazil World Cup winner Ronaldinho denied despite scoring in the semifinal
Bayern Munich gunning for a fifth trophy of 2013 in the final in Morocco
They are the little known Moroccan champions who have decimated the dream of Brazilian great Ronaldinho.
Raja Casablanca, playing in FIFA’s Club World Cup by virtue of Morocco being hosts, will now face European Champions Bayern Munich on Saturday in a bid to be crowned the globe’s finest club team.
They beat Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro 3-1 in Marrakech to become only the second African side to make the showpiece final, and in the process deny Ronaldinho perhaps his last shot at landing the prestigious crown.
The 33-year-old has a host of titles to his name, including the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, and spoke of his desire to break into their squad before his home country host the next installment, in 2014.
But though he got on the scoresheet with a brilliant, trademark free kick to level the game at 1-1, his side couldn’t hold out and conceded two late goals.
Ronaldinho was a losing finalist with Barcelona in 2006 and will now have to make do with a match against Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande to determine who finishes third in the tournament that pits the champions of each continent against each other.
The former PSG and Flamengo star is rumored to be leaving Mineiro when his contract runs out and could be a target for Turkish club Besiktas.
When his curling free kick cannoned off the post and into the net just after the hour mark to make it 1-1, Ronaldinho could be forgiven for dreaming of adding the Club World Cup to his maiden Copa Libertadores triumph with Mineiro.
It canceled out Raja Casablanca’s opener, scored when Mouhssine Iajour drilled a low shot into the bottom corner from outside the penalty area.
Despite a flurry of pressure after they scored Mineiro then shot themselves in the foot as Rever brought down Iajour inside the area, Mohsine Moutouali converting from the spot.
As Mineiro pressed hard for a second equalizer, Vianney Madibe made the game safe to spark wild scenes of celebration in Marrakech in front of 35,000 fans.
After spoiling Ronaldinho’s night Raja will aim to do the same to Bayern on Saturday, as the Germans go for their fifth trophy of a remarkable year.