Liverpool will take their first steps on the quest to become club world champions on Wednesday evening, but a resilient Mexican outfit are standing in their way.
Following a 3-2 quarter-final victory over Al Sadd, the Liga MX side are now eyeing up the chance to take down Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying Reds and put a premature end to their stay in Qatar.
With the men in blue and white stripes preparing for one of the biggest games of their history, Sportsmail takes a closer look at Monterrey and the threat they pose.
Mexican side Monterrey are hoping to bring Liverpool’s stay in Qatar to a premature end
Why are they here?
Monterrey earned their place in this year’s Club World Cup after winning the CONCACAF Champions League and showing themselves to be a cut above the rest.
Showing a style of football which was free-flowing and attractive on the eye, the Mexicans won the competition for the fourth time.
It’s all the more impressive when one realises that each of Monterrey Champions League equivalent successes have all come since 2011.
The winner of the two teams will meet Flamengo in the Club World Cup final
It is, therefore, not the first time that the side have competed in the Club World Cup and locked horns with the world’s best.
This does however bode well for Liverpool. Monterrey have faced English opposition before, when they were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea in the competition in 2012.
Monterrey have also won Liga MX, Mexico’s top flight, on four occasions.
Where have they come from?
The Mexican side are by no means as old school as Liverpool. Monterrey were founded some 53 years after the Reds, being established as a football club in June 1945.
They come with some significant backing, being owned and funded by one of the largest bottling companies in Latin America, FEMSA, who turn over around £18billion per year and have the likes of Coca Cola among their clientele.
Rogelio Funes Mori, brother of former Everton man Ramiro, has been scoring goals for fun
Former Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori (right) poses next to his twin brother – Rogelio
In Mexico they play inside the plush 53,500-seater Estadio BBVA stadium, with one of the best attendances in the league.
Currently, however, they sit in eighth place in Liga MX on 27 points after 18 matches played.
Santos Laguana, who top the division, are some ten points ahead.
Who are the main players?
Football has the uncanny habit of throwing up blasts from the past when least expected.
Liverpool will find that this is the case once more, with a few familiar faces on show.
Striker Vincent Janssen, once of Tottenham Hotspur, now plies his trade with the Mexicans. After just two goals in three years and a torrid time in the Premier League, which earned him a reputation as one of the divisions all-time flops, Janssen sealed a permanent transfer to Monterrey following a short loan spell at Fenerbahce.
Janssen has been ruled out of his side’s showdown with Liverpool due to a groin injury so he will not get the chance to show his form in England was merely a blip.
Premier League flop Vincent Janssen moved to Monterrey after leaving Tottenham
Elsewhere in the squad, there will be recognition for Rogelio Funes Mori – twin brother of former Everton man Ramiro Funes Mori.
During a Merseyside derby the defender became an immediate hate figure at Anfield, after putting in a potential leg-breaking challenge on Divock Origi and kissing the badge on his shirt upon being sent off.
Rogelio, however, is a striker in form and has 11 goals in 19 appearances this season for Monterrey.
Miguel Layun also has European and Premier League experience. The Mexican wing-back, who previously played for Watford, Porto, Sevilla and Villarreal, is in line to feature.
Ramiro Funes Mori became a hate figure at Anfield following a sickening tackle on Divock Origi
Where is Monterrey then?
Monterrey are from the north of Mexico, located in a city by the same name where the stadium and training quarters reside.
Monterrey itself sits just 135 miles from the US border.
It is the captial of the Nuevo Leon state and also hosts Los Rayados’ arch-rivals Tigres UANL.
Monterrey was founded on officially September 20, 1596, and has a population of around 4,793,000 people.
Jurgen Klopp has hailed Monterrey as a ‘really lively, interesting’ football team
Any other little facts?
Monterrey is certainly known on the map, and boasts some famous faces to call its own.
Many football fans will recognise the Dos Santos brothers, Giovani and Jonathan.
The former played for both Barcelona and then Totteham. Giovani Dos Santos goes down as one of Mexico’s all-time best, though never met the hype that surrounded his early career and saw comparisons with Ronaldinho.
Jonathan also played for Barcelona, and now features for LA Galaxy.
Ex-F1 driver Esteban Guiterrez is also from Monterrey along with Major League Baseball star Jorge de la Rosa.
Giovani Dos Santos, once a Barcelona wonderkid, hails from Monterrey along with his brother