Mexico’s CF Monterrey arrived in Morocco on Monday to take part in their third FIFA Clubs World Cup in a row. The team did not hide their excitement and instantly tweeted the news that they were on African soil.
“We are in Morocco!” the official team Twitter account reported. “To all @Rayados we send you greetings.” The team posted a photo of the players as they arrived at the airport. The players and staff looked pleased to be in Africa in the tweeted photo.
Monterrey has their first game of the competition on Dec. 14, 2013 in quarterfinals action against the winner of the Auckland City FC (NZL) and local champion Raja Casablanca (MAR) game. If Rayados win their game they will face Atletico Mineiro (BRA), current Copa Libertadores champion, in the semifinal match. If they were to get past the South Americans, they could reach the final and possibly face Bayern Munich (GER), current UEFA champions.
Unfortunately for the CONCACAF champions, they do not arrive to the tournament in their best form. Rayados struggled during the Mexican La Liga MX Apertura 2013. Midway through the tournament the team released long time coach Victor Manuel Vucetich and brought on Jose Guadalupe Cruz. Under Cruz the team won four games, lost four and drew two. Monterrey finished strong the last part of the season with two wins and a draw.
Hundreds of fans gathered at the airport to send the Rayados off to the competition. The fans cheered and chanted letting the team know they want good results from the squad. Cruz feels confidence going into the clubs world cup.
“It’s my second clubs world cup,” Cruz said prior to departure. “But in this edition we have higher expectations. The world cup is a great venue where everyone wishes they were.”
The team arrived with all 23 registered players for the competition. The Rayados won the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League tournament to earn the right to participate at the event. Last year Monterrey ended in third place at the clubs world cup.