x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Brazilians dedicate third place in CWC to fans

They were expected to win this tournament so Rafael Sobis, the Internacional forward, said his team owed it to the fans after taking the consolatory third place.

ABU DHABI // Taking third place was scant consolation for a side with ambitions of winning the tournament when they arrived in Abu Dhabi, but Rafael Sobis, the Internacional forward, said his team owed it to the fans to put in a performance.

"We arrived here with the intentions of playing with Inter Milan in the final and we are still very disappointed that we couldn't fulfil those ambitions," said Sobis, who is on loan at the Brazilian side while still under contract with Al Jazira, the Pro League club.

"To win the play-off match was some consolation we could offer our fans, most of them who have travelled from many parts of the world to come and stand behind us in support at this competition. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts."

Sobis, who has a five-year contract with Jazira until 2013, did not have a great tournament, missing scoring opportunities against TP Mazembe, who won 2-0 to send his team crashing out at the semi-final stage.

"I have to serve my loan period at Internacional until June and then Jazira will review my contract," he added.

"It has been hard work back in Brazil where the competition is so high. The medics from the Brazilian club have helped me to gain six kilos of muscle and regain full fitness after the knee injury I suffered last season in the UAE."

Tinga, who opened the scoring for the South Americans in the 4-2 victory, said their approach against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, the Asian champions from South Korea, was not different to their first match with Mazembe.

"This game was more open and we scored from the chances we created, which we couldn't do against the African champions the other night.

"We have a big reputation and we went out there to win this game for our fans."

apassela@thenational.ae