Gremio president Romildo Bolzan Jr. has “beatable” Liverpool present a real opportunity for South American clubs to win the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.
The Brazilian side are in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores, where they will face Flamengo — and the winners of that tie will take on either Boca Juniors or River Plate in the final.
The winners of the Libertadores will go into the FIFA Club World Cup in December alongside all the continental champions. No non-European side has won the trophy since Corinthians beat Chelsea in 2012, but Bolzan Jr. said the South American teams will fancy their chances against Liverpool, who beat Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final.
“The favourites [for the FIFA Club World Cup] are always the European teams,” he told Fox Sports. “I am certain Liverpool are less frightening that Real Madrid, who we faced [in 2017].
“Liverpool are a team that can be beaten. By us, by Flamengo, by Boca, by River. Real Madrid were a team of galacticos — full of superstars.
“We lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in 2017. We could have taken the game to penalties and there, anything could have happened. Just like we did with Ajax in 1995, where we lost, and Hamburg in 1983 in extra time.”
The 2019 FIFA Club World Cup will take place in Qatar from Dec. 11 to 21, with Real Madrid having won the last three editions.