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Kashima Antlers manager Masatada Ishii hailed his team as an inspiration for the little guy after the J. League champions went down fighting 4-2 against Real Madrid in the Club World Cup final on Sunday.

Antlers almost pulled off one of the greatest upsets in modern soccer history when they took 11-time European champion Madrid to extra time at Nissan Stadium, missing a chance to win it with the last kick of the 90 minutes when Yasushi Endo blazed a shot wide with the score at 2-2.

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