African national teams are respected worldwide while underfunded African club soccer lags far behind the club scene in the rest of the world. But Congolese club TB Mazembe has accomplished what no African national team has been able to do in the World Cup.
It not only reached the semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, but it upset Internacional of Brazil, 2-0, at advance to Sunday's final against Inter Milan.
"We were not expected to go beyond the semifinals when we arrived here in Abu Dhabi and that belief doesn't exist anymore," said Dioko Kaluyituka, who scored second goal. "This win is not only for the club but for the whole of Africa. This is the next best thing to happen to the continent's football after South Africa hosted the World Cup. It is a big moment for us and for African soccer."