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Liverpool v Flamengo

Cesar backs Flamengo to beat Liverpool in Club World Cup final

23:48 GMT 19/12/2019
Gabriel Barbosa Flamengo Copa Libertadores
Two former Brazil internationals believe Jorge Jesus' side have the ability to cause an upset against the Reds

Flamengo have every chance of beating Champions League winners Liverpool in the Club World Cup final, according to ex-Brazil internationals Julio Cesar and Bebeto.

Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo came from behind to beat Al Hilal 3-1 in their semi-final clash on Tuesday, while Liverpool edged past Monterrey 2-1 thanks to Roberto Firmino's late effort.

Jorge Jesus' Flamengo stunned River Plate in November's Copa Libertadores decider, with Gabriel Barbosa's last-gasp double securing glory.

Former Brazil and Inter goalkeeper Cesar started and ended his senior career with Flamengo, and he believes his old side can cause another upset in Saturday's final in Doha.

"Flamengo have the opportunity [of winning the championship]. They're very confident and will face Liverpool, a great team, as we know," Cesar told reporters.

"But Flamengo have all conditions of winning this game. Flamengo showed excellent football this year.

"With Jorge Jesus' arrival, the players could quickly understand his philosophy and methodology and this made Flamengo winner of two competitions, the Brazilian Championship and Libertadores. Flamengo is going to this final full of confidence."

Another former Flamengo and Brazil player - Bebeto - echoed Cesar's sentiment, insisting the club will have the entire country behind them.

"I have to keep my heart strong, it's such a joy to see Flamengo, after 38 years, in the fight for their second world title," he said.

"I want that everything can go well and that we can win this title, that's so important. Not only for Flamengo fans but for all Brazilians.

"Flamengo is playing very well, they will fight for this title, it will be a tough game, we all know this. Liverpool is a great team, they are Champions League winners and we are Libertadores winners and also winners at Brazil Championship.

"So, let's go, we have to believe, always."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp suggested Flamengo do boast an advantage considering their league season is over, but also stressed that they are blessed with a great manager. 

“Probably Flamengo’s season is over, they are here with the full squad pretty much as well," Klopp said. "We have just to recover as quick as possible and to make ourselves ready.

“With Jorge Jesus as a manager, of course there’s a European influence and that’s it, but the players themselves already have quality.

“If there would not be a European coach, it would already be difficult. With Jorge Jesus, (he is) very experienced, very successful in Portugal and now in Brazil as well.

“We have a lot of respect for that but at the end we will try our best and we will see how it will work out.”