Any team that lifts the Copa Libertadores is, by weight of history and the expectations of their fans, under the obligation to reach the final of the FIFA Club World Cup. Newly-crowned South American champions Gremio are no exception to that rule.
“Playing for a big club like Gremio always brings obligations with it,” acknowledged Lucas Barrios, one of the Brazilian club’s star men, in conversation with FIFA.com. “It’s a huge responsibility to be representing the club and South American football, but you have to live with that pressure. It’s a great responsibility to have too.”
The front man is not in any way underestimating their first opponents at UAE 2017, however: “We know that some people are expecting us to make the final, but if we’re going to make it, we have to think about the semi-final first. That’s how we approached every tie in the Libertadores and it worked well for us.”