Kashima Antlers are at home for the FIFA Club World Cup final against Real Madrid, where the
Yokohama Stadium is about a two-hour drive from Kashima’s home base, a bit closer to home than Spain. But Real is still the heavy favorites to keep the CWC in Spain for a third-successive season.
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Don’t sleep on the Antlers, though. The squad is fired up for the chance to make history, and the words of 22-year-old defender Naomichi Ueda work for us. From the BBC:
“I’m a crocodile. … Just as a crocodile will complete its conquest by dragging its prey into the water, I just want to bring them down – whether it’s in the air or on the ground, one on one.”
Now if crocodiles had antlers… well, that’s a futuristic sight I’d be happy to see. Kickoff on Sunday is at 5:30 a.m. EDT.