A selection of the best images from Morocco by Zakarij Kaczmarek.We take on Mexican giants Cruz Azul this Sunday morning in the Quarter Finals of the FIFA Club World Cup the winners to take on European Champions, Real Madrid.
Kick-off is at 6:30am with live coverage on Fox Sports 502 so make sure you tune in for the next chapter as we continue to make history.
Get to know Cruz Azul
Having been crowned the Champions of Asia after defeating the Blue Wave of Al-Hilal, up next on the world stage is Mexican outfit Cruz Azul, affectionately known as the Blue Cross.
The clash against Cruz Azul will be in the Quarter Final of the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco with the winner to take on European Champions Real Madrid.
Cruz Azul are one of Mexico’s most successful clubs having won 19 major trophies, including six continental titles, to be the most successful club in CONCACAF Champions League history.
They have been domestic champions on eight occasions, trailing only Toluca with 10, Club América (11) and Guadalajara (11).
Other achievements include becoming the first Mexican side to reach the final of the prestigious Copa Libertadores in 2001, going down to Boca Juniors from Argentina.
Cruz Azul’s squad is filled with some of Mexico’s best players with a smattering of quality imports.
Argentine pair Mauro Formica and Mariano Pavone are two of those superstar foreigners while Ecuadorian Joao Robin Rojas Mendoza is a powerful striker who has a strong partnership with Pavone in attack.
Nicknames: La Maquina (The Machine) and El Azul (The Blues)
Major Titles: 8 Mexican Primera , 6 CONCACAF Champions League
Ground: Estadio Azul, which has a capacity of 35,161
Manager: Luis Fernando Tena
The Mexican is well-regarded at the club, currently in his fourth different stint as head coach starting way back in 1997. Tena led the club to the title in that year and was also at the helm for their Champions League success earlier this season.
Captain: Gerardo Torrado
The no-nonsense midfielder is one of Mexico’s most decorated players having made 146 appearances for the national team in a 14-year international career which included three World Cups. He had stints in Spain with Sevilla and Real Sociedad before joining Cruz Azul in 2005.
Star player/s: Mauro Formica and Mariano Pavone
The Argentine duo provides the class and x-factor through the spine of the Cruz Azul line-up.
Formica – nicknamed the ‘Cat’ – is the playmaker of the side and has loads of quality coming through the ranks at Newell’s Old Boys before moving to Premier League club Blackburn Rovers. Was a central figure in the club’s Champions League success.
The diminutive Pavone has scored 40 times for the club in just 98 appearances for the club. He might only be 177cms tall but has great close control and the pace to get in behind defences which is his big strength.
Quarter Final 2: Cruz Azul v Wanderers, 6:30am Sunday 14 December
Semi Final 1: Winner of QF v Real Madrid, 6:30am Wednesday 17 December
Fifth Place: Loser of QF1 v Loser of QF2, 3:30am Thursday 18 December
Third Place: Loser of SF1 v Loser of SF2, 3:30am Sunday 21 December
Final: Winner of SF1 v Winner of SF2, 6:30am Sunday 21 Decembe