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Renewed team spirit

Club World Cup could mark fresh start for Inter

Rafael Benitez has been at the Inter Milan helm for around six months, but his future is widely believed to be on the line this Saturday evening in Abu Dhabi, venue for the Club World Cup final between the Italians and TP Mazembe Englebert of Congo. It could well be a fateful evening for the Spaniard, who steered Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005.

“In the past, I’d have fired the coach long before now,” confessed President and owner Massimo Moratti, a nervous man despite the astounding record of four trophies in 2009-10 (championsip, cup, Champions League and Italian Supercup). Seventh spot in Serie A, 13 points off leaders and bitter local rivals AC Milan is unacceptable for the Nerazzurri, who also surrendered top spot in their Champions League group with a listless 3-0 defeat to Bremen in their final match. “I feel betrayed, so I demand we win the Club World Cup,” declared the 65-year-old oil tycoon, Inter supremo since 1995.