Chelsea's Lucas Piazon is right to be critical

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Chelsea teenager Lucas Piazon spelled out what the World Club Cup should have meant, after Rafa Benitez's outfit lost 1-0 to Corinthians.

Disappointed after the club's defeat in the Club World Cup Final, teenage prospect Lucas Piazon caused a mini-storm in a teacup after he was reported to remark that some of his teammates lacked the passion required to win the trophy.

The Brazilian sought to clarify his comments on his Twitter feed, upon realising how his words could potentially become misconstrued, saying:

"All I said was that Corinthians had more courage to play the final than us, that they wanted more this title and that they played with more passion than us! I would never say something about my team mates, I'm just 18 and with them I learn a lot of good things. And I also said that this title is so important for the South American clubs and that was a dream for me thats why I was so sad."

His sentiments sound fair enough to us. Piazon originally was speaking about David Luiz being devastated to lose, suggesting the £25 million man displayed passion which perhaps some other of his teammates did not.

Piazon was only trying to explain the difference in attitude to the Club World Cup in South America, to Europe.

In South America the trophy is taken very seriously, in Europe it is looked at as an afterthought and a distraction, and perhaps that needs to change.

The timing of the competition was awkward for Chelsea, taking place mid-season, months after they clinched the Champions League to qualify for the tournament in Japan, several players and a manager have been replaced since then.

For Corinthians, it took place after the climax of the Brazilian football season for 2012, with the final league games of the calendar year player a week before, and the Copa Sudamericana Final concluded this month too.

All attention in Brazil therefore takes focus on the tournament, and Piazon was illustrating that by revealing what it means to him.

Does it mean anything to Frank Lampard or Branislav Ivanovic? After the pain of defeat they will say yes, but ask either back in January and they would have admitted the tournament barely registers on their radar.

Yet this is why clubs in South America have an advantage in the competition, their increased motivation. The continent's clubs have suffered an inferiority complex over the past few decades, with Europe's top teams pilfering their top talent, often on the cheap.

Clubs across the Atlantic are increasingly keen to show their football is anything but inferior, and in fact superior - And yesterday Corinthians achieved just that.

It isn't just the clubs in Europe who don't hold the competition in high esteem. Chelsea's Final was shown only on BBC Two in England, and the semi-final only online or on BBC HD.

Neither were adjudged to be worthy of being shown on the BBC's top channel BBC One, and that says everything about the European attitude to the tournament. When an English club is not competing, interest wanes even further.

Young prospect Lucas Piazon was only trying to highlight how much the tournament meant to him and his fellow Brazilians, Luiz and Ramires; it is ingrained in them. Their European counterparts not so, and perhaps that needs to change if clubs in the continent are to achieve more success in the competition in the future.

Should we care more about the Club World Cup in Europe? Did Piazon really say anything out of place? 

image: © Jason Bagley

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