'Play as if this is the last game we ever play' - Auckland City FC solely focused on first Club World Cup match

Forward Fabrizio Tavano is relishing his second stint with Auckland City as the Navy Blues prepare to tackle yet another Club World Cup.

Auckland meet UAE team Al Jazira in their first match early tomorrow in the United Arab Emirates, with the winner advancing to the quarter-finals against Japan team Urawa Red Diamonds

Tavano was a key figure in Auckland's run to a bronze medal win over Cruz Azul in Morocco three years ago, and has returned after a short spell in Mexican football with Tigres de la UANL in 2015.

The 24-year-old played as a centre forward for the Navy Blues following the injury to star striker Joao Moreira during that tournament and shone brightly.

He doesn't get carried away by those past successes, however, and says the key to putting together a winning start is purely down to focus.

"I don't think about what happens in the Club World Cup outside of the first game. The other possibilities don't come to my mind. I just focus on playing the first game as if it will be the last game I ever play in my life," he said.

"We know the first game is always the most important game and we will be giving more than 100 per cent to win it.

"If we get a good result against Al Jazira, OK, then we look at what happens next. At the moment there is no other team, no other game, only Al Jazira."

Tavano says Al Jazira, the UAE league title winners, present a difficult challenge with a different style of play.

"We need to be focused and play them as if this is going to be the last game we ever play in our lives."

Fabrizio Tavano says thoughts of playing teams like Real Madrid are well out of the picture - Al Jazira is the only team that matters. Source: Supplied

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