Adelaide United FC has been officially welcomed into the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup with the FIFA Team Media Day at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The reality that The Reds will feature in the lucrative tournament, that comprises of just seven clubs from around the world, hit home today as FIFA held its official media day for the Australian club.
FIFA representative Gordon Glen Watson hosted the session, as he was joined by Adelaide United Chairman Dario Fontanarosa, Coach Aurelio Vidmar, Captain Travis Dodd and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.
Glen Watson explained to the local media contingent the details and history of the FIFA Club World Cup, before conducting a brief Q&A with each of United’s representatives.
In discussing how his squad is approaching the competition, Vidmar said it would be not dissimilar to the preparation for the AFC Champions League, which saw The Reds make history and reach the Final.
“Not really any differently than from what we went through in the Asian Champions League,” Vidmar said.
“We know that it will be a very difficult game against Waitakere United, and it’s going to be extremely tough but we’re really looking forward to the competition and it will be our first time we are involved in a tournament of this magnitude which is fantastic.”
AUFC United will meet the New Zealand team in the opening match of the tournament for the right to face AFC Champions League winners Gamba Osaka in the Quarter Finals. If The Reds can get past their Japanese nemesis, it sets up a Semi Final encounter against none other than Manchester United.
“It’s a great opportunity for us and you don’t contemplate that you’ll get there but the way the opportunities have arisen for our club and the A-League, we’re really looking forward to going there and hopefully doing very well,” Vidmar said.
Dodd said the team was looking forward to representing the country on the world’s biggest stage in club football.
“We want to go out there and put in a good performance for the club and I know that we’re representing not only Adelaide but Australia, so we want to do ourselves proud and achieve as much as possible,” Dodd said.
As part of the FIFA Team Media Day, Glen Watson presented Fontanarosa with an official certificate of participation for the Club World Cup, Vidmar with a FIFA pennant, while Dodd and Galekovic accepted a FIFA Fair Play banner on behalf of the players.
But while the excitement of the FIFA Club World Cup starts to grow, before United starts getting too caught up in Club World Cup fever, it has two important Hyundai A-League matches to focus on, the first coming up against the Newcastle Jets on Sunday.
Adelaide United face Waitakere United at Tokyo Stadium on Thursday 11 December. The winner of the match qualifies for a FIFA Club World Cup Quarter-Final match with AFC Champions League title holders Gamba Osaka. Adelaide finished runners-up to Gamba in the AFC Champions League losing to the Japanese club 5-0 on aggregate.
Story and images courtesy www.adelaideunited.com.au
Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar receives a FIFA pennant at the FIFA CLub World Cup Team Media Day from Gordon Glen Watson