Atletico aim for perfect goodbye

Atletico Mineiro are hoping third place in the Club World Cup can provide a fitting send-off for coach Cuca against Guangzhou Evergrande.

Ronaldinho Atletico Mineiro

Cuca has built a winning team in Lourdes, guiding the club to their first Copa Libertadores, but is now ready to move to China where he is to take charge of Shandong Luneng.

Among the biggest rivals of his new club are Saturday's opponents Guangzhou.

And while they want a victory for sentimental reasons, they also need to avoid defeat to escape an unwanted record, as it would be the worst ever finish for a Brazilian club in this competition.

A chastening 3-1 defeat to Raja Casablanca in the semi-final was not part of the plan but forward Fernandinho hopes his side will show the right response.

"We have to learn from defeats and take the lessons on board," he said on FIFA.com. "We have to lift our heads because we're fighters. Of course, the disappointment will be with us for some time, because we were desperate to win and play the final, to perhaps give our fans another trophy to celebrate.

"Unfortunately it didn't work out that way, but I'm sure better days will come."

Guangzhou will also be bidding farewell with their star midfielder Dario Conca heading the other way, leaving China to play for Fluminense.

Conca won three national titles and the 2013 player of the year award in China.

They will be second favourites on Sunday, but are aiming to finish the tournament on a high.

"Just being here and playing against some of the game's biggest stars is a triumph for us," said forward Muriqui.

"We have to show how Chinese football has improved. We've got to a level that a lot of people thought we would never reach, and now we're here at the World Cup sharing a pitch with the best teams in Europa and America. It has been a worthwhile experience and we want to end it by winning third place."



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