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Soccer-Club World Cup semi-finalists

Reuters

By Brian Homewood

AGADIR, Morocco, Dec 16 (Reuters) - A factbox on the four

semi-finalists at the Club World Cup.

Bayern Munich meet Guangzhou Evergrande in Agadir on Tuesday

(1930 GMT) and Atletico Mineiro face Raja Casablanca in

Marrakech on Wednesday (1930).

Raja Casablanca (Morocco):

Founded: 1949

Titles: Moroccan league champions: 11 times. Moroccan Cup:

7. African Champions League: 3. CAF Cup: 1.

Route to the tournament: Unlike the other semi-finalists,

Raja are not continental champions but qualified for the

tournament as champions of the host nation Morocco, winning the

title in the 2012/13 season.

Current form: An indifferent fifth in the 2013/14 Moroccan

league, a performance which prompted them to sack coach Mohamed

Fakhir one week before the start of the tournament.

The team: Most of the squad are Moroccan league players with

a sprinkling of international caps between them and, in one or

two cases, experience abroad in countries such as Switzerland or

Saudi Arabia. The Moroccan national team itself is made up

almost entirely of players based with European clubs and those

who remain in Morocco are generally the ones who are not good

enough to earn a move abroad, or are just starting their

careers. There are also some low-key imports including

midfielder Kouko Guehi from Ivory Coast. None of the players are

well-known outside Morocco.

The coach: Faouzi Benzarti. Took over one week before the

competition started after his predecessor Fakhir was dismissed.

The 63-year-old Tunisian has coached at six clubs in his

homeland as well as the national teams of his own country and

Libya.

Estimated transfer market value of the squad: 9.5 million

euros ($13.04 million).

Average home attendance: n/a

* * * *

Atletico Mineiro (Brazil):

Founded: 1908

Titles: Brazilian championship winners: 1. Minas Gerais

state championship winners: 42. Libertadores Cup: 1. Conmebol

Cup: 2.

Route to the tournament: Finished second in the 2012

Brazilian championship to qualify for this season's South

American Libertadores Cup. They won the Libertadores the hard

way, surviving a late penalty miss against Tijuana and beating

both Newell's Old Boys and Paraguayan side Olimpia on penalties.

Current form: Atletico devoted most of their energy to

winning the Libertadores and their Brazilian championship

campaign took second fiddle. Having won the title in July, they

fielded a reserve team in several matches, at one stage

suffering a run of five games without a win. Eventually

recovered to finish eighth in the Brazilian championship which

concluded at the start of this month.

The team: An ageing team of well-respected if unremarkable

professionals, most of whom have done the rounds of clubs in

Brazil and, in some cases, have had the odd spell abroad. The

exceptions are the mercurial former World Player of the Year

Ronaldinho and former CSKA Moscow, Everton and Manchester City

striker Jo. Thirty-year-old goalkeeper Victor was regarded as

the hero of their Libertadores campaign.

The coach: Cuca. Has coached nearly 20 different Brazilian

teams, some of them more than once, including Flamengo,

Fluminense, Gremio, Botafogo, Santos, Coritiba and Sao Paulo.

His teams can be relied upon to play attractive, attacking

football although he had earned a reputation as a nearly man for

frequently missing out on major titles until he led Atletico to

the Libertadores title.

Estimated transfer market value of the squad: 35.4 million

euros

Average home attendance: 11,436

* * * *

Bayern Munich (Germany)

Founded: 1900

Titles: German champions 23 times (22 since the Bundesliga

was founded in 1963). German Cup winners: 16. European

Cup/Champions League winners: 5. European Cup Winners' Cup

champions: 1. UEFA Cup/Europa League winners: 1.

Intercontinental Cup: 2.

Route to the tournament: Won the European Champions League

in May, beating Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the final. They had

qualified for the Champions League with a second-placed finish

in the Bundesliga in 2011/12.

Current form: Have lost only two games all season, the

German Supercup match against Borussia Dortmund and a Champions

League tie at home to Manchester City. They lead the Bundesliga

by seven points, having won 14 and drawn two of their matches.

They have also reached the German Cup quarter-finals and last

sixteen of the Champions League, keeping them on course to

repeat last season's extraordinary treble.

The team: Just about every player in the Bayern squad is a

full international, countries represented including Germany,

Netherlands, France, Brazil, Croatia, Belgium, Austria and Peru.

They include some of the world's top players such as goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer, defender Philipp Lahm, midfielder Bastian

Schweinsteiger and forwards Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Six

of their players were on the original 23-man list for the Player

of the Year award.

The coach: Pep Guardiola. Produced one of football's

greatest ever teams during his four seasons with Barcelona, with

their distinctive tiki-taka possession game. After a one-year

sabbatical, he is now trying to do the same with Bayern Munich.

Estimated transfer market value of the squad: 487.2 million

euros

Average home attendance: 71,000

* * * *

Guangzhou Evergrande (China)

Founded: Founded as a professional team in 1993. Previously

existed as a semi-professional side since 1954.

Titles: Chinese Super League: 3. Chinese Cup: 1. Asian

Champions League: 1.

Route to the tournament: Won the 2013 Asian Champions League

after a marathon campaign which took them to Thailand, South

Korea, Japan, Australia and Qatar. Qualified for the Champions

League as the 2012 Chinese champions.

Current form: Emphatically won the Chinese League again this

year, winning 24 and losing only once in their 30-match campaign

to finish 18 points clear at the top. Also reached the Chinese

Cup final but missed out on the double by losing 2-0 to Guizhou

Moutai. Completed their season by winning the Asian Champions

League. Overall, they played 50 games, winning 37 and losing

three.

The team: Guangzhou is basically the backbone of the China

national side with three South American players thrown in. Sun

Xiang, Zhang Linpeng, Feng Xiaoting, Zhao Xuri, Asian Player of

the Year and China captain Zheng Zhi, Huang Bowen and Gao Lin

are all experienced internationals. However, the real stars are

the South American trio, Argentine playmaker Dario Conca and the

Brazilian pair of Elkeson and Muriqui, none of whom have been

capped at senior international level.

The coach: Marcello Lippi. One of Europe's most successful

coaches. Won five Serie A titles and one Champions League with

Juventus, then led Italy to World Cup victory in 2006. He

suffered a rare failure when he returned for 2010 and they were

knocked out in the group stage. He is now weaving his magic in

China where he has won three successive league titles with

Guangzhou and the Asian Champions League.

Estimated transfer market value of the squad: 20.97 million

euros

Average home attendance: 40,428

Source for transfer market values: (www.transfermarkt.de)

($1 = 0.7283 euros)

(Editing by Josh Reich)

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