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Sports Features Communications® - Soccer World

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

MANCHESTER, Mar 09: Manchester United go into their Champions League return against Internazionale inspired by a piece of one-upmanship, courtesy of world federation FIFA.

United are seeking to score the victory which will turn their goalless first leg scoreline from the Stadio Meazza into a second round aggregate victory and propel them into the quarter-finals in their defence of the cup they won on penalties against Chelsea in Moscow last May.

But they did seek to overturn the jinx commanded by Inter coach Jose Mourinho with a new shirt bearing the 'FIFA Club World Cup Champions Badge.' This will be formally presented by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, before the game, to United chief executive David Gill, and defender Wes Brown.

United won the world title by defeating LDU of Ecuador in Yokohama last December to earn the right to display the badge on their jerseys up until the final whistle of the 2009 world event.

Illustrious history

Blatter said: "Manchester United have won a multitude of honours during their illustrious history but in Tokyo last December they added a new title, that of FIFA world club champions. This commemorative presentation recognises the achievement of Sir Alex Ferguson and his players and means that until late-December 2009, every time the team takes to the field, they will take that honour out with them on their shirts."

In fact, though FIFA took over and expanded the world club competition in 2005 it had been running since 1960.

The tradition of displaying stars beside a club crest was initiated orginally by the Italian league for every 10th league title. In national team football now Brazil currently display five stars, one for each World Cup victory in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Italy did likewise in 1982 and today have four. All world champions have since followed suit.
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