ABU DHABI - Globetrotter Mauricio Molina,
who has helped South Korea's Seongnam to reach a Club World Cup
semi-final against Inter Milan, is a pioneer as a Colombian at
the top of Asian football.
"Mao" Molina, who helped Colombia to win the Copa America
for the first time on home soil in 2001 as a 21-year-old, has
ended up in South Korea after a career spanning nine previous
clubs on four continents.
"This is a summit in my career, to be at the Club World
Cup," the attacking midfielder, the second highest scorer in the
Asian Champions League this year, told Reuters.
"I was a champion with my country in the Copa America but
this is a World Cup and it would be incredible to win it," he
said after Seongnam beat hosts al-Wahda 4-1 to set up their
clash with the European champions.
Molina scored the opening goal in the fourth minute and his
skills with the dead ball, first with a corner and later a free
kick, set up two more in the victory at Zayed Sports City
stadium on Saturday.
Seongnam return to the same venue on Wednesday to meet
Inter, who Molina said were "one of the best teams in the world,
but we have to believe was can surprise them."
Winning the Asian club title was a step further than Molina
managed in 2003 with Independiente Medellin of Colombia who were
Libertadores Cup semi-finalists.
Molina, who played for al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates in
2004, said he had settled well in South Korea and was enjoying
his football more than he had for some time, averaging almost a
goal every two games for Seongnam in the K-League.
"I'm very happy there, my family is comfortable, I like the
culture and I hope to stay a good while," said Molina, who has
also played for clubs in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Mexico and
He has been out of the reckoning for Colombia for some years
but hopes to get a call from coach Hernan Gomez who is preparing
a squad for the Copa America in Argentina in July.
"I haven't had a call for the national team for some time, I
don't know what the set-up is like now but, obviously, you don't
lose your hopes," he said.
"I feel good in Asia, I've reached a new maturity and to get
to the Club World Cup is a way of showing what I can still do."
Central defender fit enough to play in the Champions League final at Wembley
Bayern Munich unfazed by the need to be more clinical in attack against Borussia Dortmund
Ruud Gullit believes Bayern Munich are in for a shock when they take on Borussia Dortmund
Napoli president denies reports that he has named Rafael Benitez as club's new manager
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010