TP Mazembe are confident that they will provide a better showing for themselves after a disappointing Club World Cup in 2009.
Mazembe look for a quick fix
Al Ahli's first-round dismissal from the Club World Cup last year at the hands of Auckland City may linger in the minds of UAE fans, but another side had an even more discouraging 2009 tournament.
That would be TP Mazembe of DR Congo, who lost 2-1 to Pohang Steelers and 3-2 to the same Auckland side that humbled Al Ahli.
Unlike Ahli, however, Mazembe have returned to the Club World Cup in 2010 with a chance to redeem themselves.
"Last year was an exploration," Lamine Ndiaye, their coach, said yesterday. "We wanted to see the best clubs in the world.
"We will be better this year. We have worked harder. We are motivated."
Ndiaye, hired in October, had nothing to do with the 2009 defeats.
Pamphile Miyaho, the midfielder, did, however. "Yes, we lost twice and were unable to reach the final," he said.
"When we thought about the two matches we realised we did not exert enough and didn't score enough."
Given Singuluma, a forward in his first year with the club, said achieving results are paramount.
"We are champions of Africa, and we need to show that."
Mazembe will attempt to succeed without Tresor Mputu, their captain and the 2009can domestic Player of the Year in Africa.
In August, he was suspended by Fifa for a year after an incident in a club match in Rwanda last April.
Mputu "had trouble with one of the referees," Ndiaye said. "I do not know the details … He used some bad words. As captain, he should not use bad words and was [punished] by Fifa."
He added: "One man does not make a team. We have many other good players."