ABU DHABI - Denilson hopes the "home" advantage he feels in Abu Dhabi helps Asian champions Pohang Steelers beat Africa's TP Mazembe in their Club World Cup quarter-final on Friday.
"To come here is to return home...I have a lot of friends in the (United Arab) Emirates," the South Korean side's Brazilian forward said on Thursday at the match venue, the Mohammed bin Zayed stadium.
"I think our team can feel the same. I played here for six years, with different clubs. I feel really good here, it's like a second home," the 33-year-old told a news conference.
An added source of strength for Pohang's two Brazilians including coach Sergio Farias is their country's age-old rivalry with Argentina, according to Denilson.
He said that for him the team to beat at the tournament were South American champions Estudiantes, whom Pohang will meet in the semi-finals if they get past Congolese Mazembe.
"Our biggest rivals here are Estudiantes... Argentina was always the rival for us and also for the trainer the big rival is Estudiantes."
Denilson said the Steelers had prepared thoroughly to "be able to represent South Korea well... We're not here to do tourism."
Farias said Mazembe, as their name Tout Puissant (all powerful) suggested, have a game "based on strength and technique and we have to take advantage of their tactical disorganisation".
"We have studied their strong points and their weak points and we see weak points in their defence which we are going to have to make the most of tomorrow."
The 42-year-old, whose work with Pohang over the last five years has earned him recommendations to take charge of the South Korea team, added: "We must be on our guard because of their speed...but all teams that attack suffer from gaps in defence for a counter-attack.
"This is the kind of competition where you have to keep your concentration all the time."
The tournament groups the champions of FIFA's six confederations with South America's Estudiantes and Europe's Barcelona getting byes into the last four.
Barcelona will meet the winners of CONCACAF's Mexican champions Atlante and Auckland City of New Zealand who surprised host club side Al Ahli with a 2-0 victory in the inaugural match, a quarter-final play-off, on Wednesday.comments