David Luiz hoping to disappoint Corinthians fans in Club World Cup final

Chelsea take on Brazilian side on Sunday

David Luiz is bracing himself for a one-sided Club World Cup final against his boyhood idols on Sunday - but only in the stands.

Chelsea go into this weekend's clash with Corinthians as firm favourites to add a first world title to their maiden European crown after cruising through their semi-final against Monterrey yesterday.

Sunday's opponents, meanwhile, made worryingly hard work of beating Al-Ahly in their own semi 24 hours earlier.

The South American champions will walk out at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama this weekend boosted by the backing of up to 30,000 of Luiz's fellow supporters, the kind of diehard following of which his current club can only dream.

But the Chelsea star had no fears about any mismatch in the stands, insisting anything was better than the ghostly atmosphere that permeated yesterday's game in a half-empty ground.

"It will be nice," said Luiz, who interim manager Rafael Benitez must decide whether to keep in midfield or move back into defence on Sunday.

"I don't like to play in empty stadiums. I guess nobody likes it."

The ground would have been even emptier yesterday but for Corinthians fans making up the numbers and chanting their own team's name during a match they were not even involved in.

The atmosphere certainly did not help Chelsea as they struggled to maintain a consistent tempo against a team who offered little resistance.

Interim manager Rafael Benitez was unhappy with his side's slackness, warning it could cost them dearly on Sunday.

Chelsea can take confidence from the fact the last five Club World Cup winners have come from Europe, something that suggests South America is still playing catch-up.

But Luiz is not so sure. The Brazil star said: "I know the teams in Brazil, and the league.

"I feel it's now far more similar to the Premier League because you never know who is going to win.

"Last season, there were two, three, four teams who could have won the title.

"Teams are stronger. Brazilian football has developed a lot more tactically, learned from Europe."

He added: "Ten years, ago you wouldn't have seen teams playing in two lines or between the lines, 4-4-2.

"It was always 4-2-2-2 and that didn't change.

"They have adapted their games and the game is quicker and harder.

"It's not just the Brazilian teams, because you have teams in Argentina and other countries.

"The Club World Cup is an opportunity for them to show they have the qualities of European teams."

Indeed, this tournament and its predecessor, the Intercontinental Cup, has always meant far more to South American teams than those from Europe.

"It's the last game of the season so people give it a lot of importance," Luiz said.

"They've been talking about this competition for six months.

"Every day, you have people in the club talking about this competition and how much they want to win it.

"Although, we want to win it as well. It's a title, a title Chelsea have never won, so we want to win it because it would be good for us for the rest of the season."

Had he not moved to Stamford Bridge, Luiz would doubtless have been cheering on Corinthians tomorrow.

He did just that in 2000 when they won the one-off Club World Championship in Brazil, the precursor to the current tournament.

"I remember it was good in 2000," said Luiz, who was a youth player at arch-rivals Sao Paulo at the time.

"I saw the final when Corinthians beat Vasco Da Gama, two teams with real quality.

"It was good for me to watch the game and the big teams, because Real Madrid were there as well as Manchester United."

He added: "I was a Corinthians fan, yes. Of course, now I'm a Chelsea fan!

"I saw a lot of Corinthians game but now I am a professional, a Chelsea player, so I know what I have to do."

Chelsea trained without incident today ahead of Sunday's match, with those who started yesterday restricted to the warm-up and the remainder of the squad trying to impress Benitez enough to force their way into his starting XI.


Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments