Skip to main content

Raja Casablanca deny Ronaldinho at FIFA Club World Cup

updated 6:01 PM EST, Wed December 18, 2013
Ronaldinho won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and has spoken of his desire to get back into the squad.
Ronaldinho won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and has spoken of his desire to get back into the squad.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Moroccan champions Raja Casablanca deafeat Brazil's Atletico Mineiro 3-1
  • Raja will now face Bayern Munich in FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday
  • Brazil World Cup winner Ronaldinho denied despite scoring in the semifinal
  • Bayern Munich gunning for a fifth trophy of 2013 in the final in Morocco

(CNN) -- They are the little known Moroccan champions who have decimated the dream of Brazilian great Ronaldinho.

Raja Casablanca, playing in FIFA's Club World Cup by virtue of Morocco being hosts, will now face European Champions Bayern Munich on Saturday in a bid to be crowned the globe's finest club team.

They beat Brazil's Atletico Mineiro 3-1 in Marrakech to become only the second African side to make the showpiece final, and in the process deny Ronaldinho perhaps his last shot at landing the prestigious crown.

The 33-year-old has a host of titles to his name, including the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, and spoke of his desire to break into their squad before his home country host the next installment, in 2014.

Read: Bayern's 'final objective' draws into sight

Fighting erupts in football stands
Brazil's World Cup venues
Pele's dream World Cup matches

But though he got on the scoresheet with a brilliant, trademark free kick to level the game at 1-1, his side couldn't hold out and conceded two late goals.

Ronaldinho was a losing finalist with Barcelona in 2006 and will now have to make do with a match against Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande to determine who finishes third in the tournament that pits the champions of each continent against each other.

The former PSG and Flamengo star is rumored to be leaving Mineiro when his contract runs out and could be a target for Turkish club Besiktas.

When his curling free kick cannoned off the post and into the net just after the hour mark to make it 1-1, Ronaldinho could be forgiven for dreaming of adding the Club World Cup to his maiden Copa Libertadores triumph with Mineiro.

It canceled out Raja Casablanca's opener, scored when Mouhssine Iajour drilled a low shot into the bottom corner from outside the penalty area.

Despite a flurry of pressure after they scored Mineiro then shot themselves in the foot as Rever brought down Iajour inside the area, Mohsine Moutouali converting from the spot.

As Mineiro pressed hard for a second equalizer, Vianney Madibe made the game safe to spark wild scenes of celebration in Marrakech in front of 35,000 fans.

After spoiling Ronaldinho's night Raja will aim to do the same to Bayern on Saturday, as the Germans go for their fifth trophy of a remarkable year.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT