River's Matias Kranevitter eyes 'dream' Barcelona final before Atletico move
River Plate midfielder Matias Kranevitter says he is looking forward to fulfilling his dream of facing Barcelona in the Club World Cup final, in what would be his last game for the Argentine club before he joins Atletico Madrid in January.
Kranevitter, 22, joined Atletico for €8 million last summer, with his arrival in Spain postponed so he could continue to play for Copa Libertadores champions River until this December's Club World Cup in Japan.
THE BEST OF ESPN FC
- Bell: Liverpool fans make themselves heard
- Cox: Leicester improving | Why Poch should stay
- Okwonga: Man United's market | City's title hopes
- Laurens: PSG's pre-UCL issues | Hertha's curse
- Highlights (U.S. only): Stuttgart 1-3 BVB
- FC TV: Champions League W2W4 | LVG wrong
- News | Transfer | Toe Poke | Fantasy | FC TV | Podcast | MLS
The holding midfielder, who has also made his senior Argentina debut in recent months, told AS that taking on Champions League holders Barcelona in such a huge game would be an ideal way to finish his time with River.
"The dream is to play with a team as big as Barcelona," Kranevitter said. "We have to get ready for this, and try to make another final, and I know it will be nice. I have always dreamed of being a champion with this jersey, and I have few days left with this club."
River and Barca both go straight into the competition's semifinal stage, with the Buenos Aires club due to meet either Auckland City, the as-yet unconfirmed Japanese champions, or TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Dec. 16 in Osaka.
"We know we will have a very difficult semifinal," Kranevitter added. "At a World Club Cup they are all difficult opponents, they are great teams. First we must think about this game."
Barca's semifinal is on Dec. 17 in Yokohama against either CONCACAF champions Club America of Mexico or Guangzhou Evergrande, the winners of the Asian Champions League.
The final will be played on Sunday Dec. 20 in Yokohama.