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Luan, Gremio looks to dethrone Real Madrid at Club World Cup

Luan, Jorge Hernandez

Brazil’s Gremio Luan, left, controls the ball as Mexico’s Pachuca Jorge Hernandez tries to stop him during the Club World Cup semifinal soccer match between Gremio and Pachuca at the Hazza Bin Zayed stadium in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)


“He’s a wonderful person. He’s got lots of titles, so maybe he can just leave this one to us.”

That’s Gremio youngster Luan after being told Real Madrid star and countryman Marcelo said he has a huge future in the game.

Luan and his teammates could make a lot more noise with a win in Saturday’s Club World Cup final against Real.

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Gremio edged Pachuca in extra time of its semifinal after Real came back to beat Al Jazira, and now hopes to become just the second non-European club to win the Club World Cup since 2007.

Brazilian clubs won the first three CWCs between 2000-06, but Corinthians claimed the lone Brazilian title since when it beat Chelsea in 2012.

Spanish clubs have won the last three finals, with Real sandwiching two around Barca’s 2015 win over River Plate.

The 24-year-old Luan won Olympic gold with Brazil in 2016, and has two caps with the national team.

Follow @NicholasMendola