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11th Dec 2018

Former Guernsey striker could face Real Madrid at the Club World Cup

Simon Lloyd

The 2018 FIFA Club World Cup takes place in the United Arab Emirates this month

Despite all their early season woes, Real Madrid look clear favourites to win the tournament which they, along with Copa Libertadores winners River Plate, will enter at the semi-final stage.

Though some might mistakenly believe that Gareth Bale is the only Briton to be in with a chance  of winning this year’s competition, this isn’t the case. 31-year-old Ross Allen, a former striker with Guernsey FC, is expected to feature for Team Wellington in their first round play-off against UAE champions, Al Ain, in the tournament’s opening game.

Having scored 239 goals in 226 games for the Channel Island side, Allen left to go travelling last year before settling in New Zealand and joining Team Wellington, who play in the country’s top division.

The team won the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League title in May after beating Fijian side Lautoka in the final  10-3 on aggregate – enough for them to clinch a place at the the FIFA Club World Cup. Should they beat Al Ain, they’re just one more win away from meeting either Real Madrid or River Plate in the semi-finals.

Speaking to BBC Radio Guernsey, Allen has admitted his surprise at being given the opportunity  to play in the tournament.

“It’s something I never really imagined would ever happen at this stage of my career,” the striker said.

“Even going back a year, just travelling out to New Zealand I knew this was something that could possibly happen, but I just fell in with the right team.

“We’ve done really well to win the Champions League, and to have the opportunity to play in a competition against some of these teams is unbelievable.”

Team Wellington take on Al Ain on Wednesday at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.

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