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Zanetti: Inter won't take Mazembe lightly

Javier Zanetti insists Inter Milan won't be underestimating Congolese outfit TP Mazembe as the two sides battle to be crowned FIFA Club World Cup champions.

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Moonda: African legacy continues

The Africans stunned South American champions Internacional to reach the showpiece final, while Inter Milan cruised past Korean side Seongnam Ilhwa in the semi-final.

But veteran defender Zanetti says Rafael Benitez's men are determined not to become another famous scalp when the two go head-to-head in Abu Dhabi.

"If Mazembe can beat a Mexican team and a Brazilian team, then there's no reason why they can't do the same to a European team," the Inter skipper said. "But we'll be fully focused on the task in hand, as we have no desire to fall into the same trap.

African champs Mazembe are brimming with confidence after their superb 2-0 win in the semi-final and are daring to dream that they could become the first club outside Europe or South America to claim the Club World Cup.

Coach Lamine N'Diaye said: "We've managed to rise to all the challenges that we've set ourselves. Now we're faced with one last hurdle to overcome. You just never know."

Meanwhile, Dioko Kaluyituka - one of Mazembe's scorers again Internacional - says it will be an honour to play against Inter striker Samuel Eto'o, who is revered in Africa.

"Eto'o is an example to all of us," he said. "He's managed to establish himself at the very highest level, while never losing touch with his African roots. For every forward on this continent, he is the model to follow.

"It'll be an honour to play against Eto'o and his team. We're all keen to show that we can mix it with the big boys, and perhaps even beat them. If we perform as best we can, Africa will be proud of us."

Kaluyituka is well aware of the significance of Mazembe's rise to prominence and aims to do Africa proud on the big stage. "We're aware of the historic nature of our performance," said the Congolese international.

"I don't think anyone, our opponents included, thought we could do it. In the back of their minds, perhaps they saw us as a little team they would beat easily, which is something that Pachuca were possibly guilty of in the previous round. But now the little team has made it all the way to the final.

"We get the impression that African football still isn't taken as seriously as it should be. Maybe our run will change a few minds out there, and help Africa to keep pressing forward.

"You don't take part at the Club World Cup by accident - we deserve to be here as the best team in our continent. We already made an appearance last year, but we weren't really ready to step up a level. This year, we decided that if we were going to be taking part, our aim would be to win the whole competition."


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