Danilo plans to give the South American champions the perfect
parting gift by helping them win the Club World Cup by beating
Barcelona in Sunday's final.
The Porto-bound Danilo curled in a superb free-kick in the
3-1 semi-final win over Japan's Kashiwa Reysol as Brazil
hot-shots Neymar, Elano and Paulo Henrique Ganso looked on.
"It was the first free-kick I've scored for Santos," the
precocious 20-year-old said of his goal, bent brilliantly around
the Reysol wall.
"Even though we've got Elano, Ganso and Neymar, who all
strike the ball very well, I thought it was worth a try since
I've been scoring quite a few in training."
European kings Barca kept up their end of the bargain by
thrashing Asian champions Al Sadd 4-0 in Yokohama on Thursday
but lost Spain striker David Villa to a broken leg.
The Spanish champions were visibly upset at hearing of
Villa's injury but all eyes will be on Argentine wizard Lionel
Messi and Neymar, the 19-year-old pretender to his throne.
Danilo feels the omens are good for Santos, who won their
third Libertadores Cup in June, almost 50 years after Pele led
them to back-to-back titles in 1962 and 1963.
"It's incredible," he told FIFA.com. "It feels as if it was
destined that my final game at Santos would be a World Cup final
Santos looked sharper in their semi-final than a
travel-weary Barca did in theirs against an Al Sadd side who did
little to silence critics of the tournament.
Barcelona, who flew to Japan immediately after a 3-1 Clasico win at fierce rivals Real Madrid at the weekend, are
likely to be firing on Sunday, even without Villa.
"Given how much talent they have, we'll have to be a bit
more cautious." admitted Danilo. "I'm certain if we have a good
day we're in with a good chance of winning."
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