Cape Town - Defender Wayne Arendse says Mamelodi Sundowns will learn from their experience at the Club World Cup and return a stronger team in years to come.
The Brazilians ended the six-team tournament in last place after losing their opening match to losing finalists Kashima Antlers 2-0 before suffering a 4-1 defeat to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the fifth-place play-off.
But Arendse, who says the competition is at a different level to what they are used to, learnt from their experiences in the African Champions League before claiming the continental trophy and will do the same now that they have played in an international competition.
The 32-year-old former Santos centre-back told Times Live: "As the coach emphasised‚ there was a year in the Champions League where we got hammered 3-1 by TP Mazembe. And we learnt from that.
"We went back and we rectified those things. And then we were better and we improved and we won the Champions League."
He added: "It’s different levels‚ from the PSL‚ to Africa‚ to here. This year we were playing in our first game in the FIFA Club World Cup, we saw those things. Now we need to go back and improve.
"We’re going to find ourselves back here in the next Club World Cup.
"It’s a global stage‚ and that’s the stage we want to be on. And we need to try to improve and step up our game so we can compete on that stage."
Reflecting on their ties with Kashima and Jeonbuk, Arendse explained: "They’re very quick‚ always getting first to the ball‚ very sharp and well organised tactically.
"So we saw those things‚ and we also need to apply it in our game as well. We need to be quicker‚ sharper tactically‚ and more ruthless in the box.
"These small differences‚ shielding the ball‚ all those small details are what the Asian teams do best. They go through this week in and week out, whereas for us‚ at home‚ we don’t see this often."