A week after clinching their second Copa Libertadores title of all time with a 99th-minute winner against Santos, Palmeiras are all set to face Mexico's Tigres UNAL in the semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup.
For clubs from South America, any opportunity to represent their country or region in this very club competition is considered to be the pinnacle of footballing glory. And there's a good enough reason for it.
Clubs like Santos or Palmeiras lose their young talents year after year to the much flashier clubs in Europe and function under major cash-crunch when compared to these footballing superpowers. Hence, the Club World Cup remains the only competition where South American clubs can go toe to toe against the European giants.
For Palmeiras, this is what makes this year’s Club World Cup all the more important. Unlike local rivals Santos, Sao Paulo and Corinthians, they are yet to conquer the global crown.
However, in Qatar, Abel Ferreira's side will be hoping to turn a corner. But their work will be cut out. If they overcome Tigres in the semis, they will be pitted against the mighty European champions Bayern Munich.
Bayern have captured the imagination of the footballing fraternity with their dominance in the UEFA Champions League. They will be coming to Qatar with their eyes set on the title.
Given the disparity in their financial structure and talent pool, Ferreira and his men will be more than happy to sit back and defend if and when they go against the German powerhouse in the finals. Even during the Copa Libertadores final, Palmeiras put men behind the ball and hit Santos on the breaks.
However, it is easier said than done.
With arguably the world's most lethal forward in Robert Lewandowski leading Bayern's line, even a half-chance could end up being costly for the Brazilian club.
Palmeiras' central defensive midfielder Danilo will have a job in his hands to disrupt the free-flowing football from Bayern in the middle of the park.
But first stop Tigres. The Mexican club will be no less motivated. No club from North and Central America has ever reached the final of the Club World Cup. "We know that we can make history and we want to make history," said forward Andre-Pierre Gignac, who has scored 144 goals in 244 games since the club on a free transfer in 2015.