Mazembe “are not here by accident” in the Club World Cup Final against Inter today, assures striker Dioko Kaluyituka.
The two teams go head-to-head in Abu Dhabi at 17.00 UK time to decide the trophy.
The Africans have already caused two upsets by eliminating Mexicans Pachuca and Brazil's Internacional, becoming the first side from outside Europe or South America to reach the Final.
“We're aware of the historic nature of our performance,” the Congolese international told FIFA.com.
“I don't think anyone, our opponents included, thought we could do it. In the back of their minds, perhaps they saw us as a little team they would beat easily, which is something that Pachuca were possibly guilty of in the previous round.
“But now the little team has made it all the way to the Final. Inter are one of the best teams in the world.
“We get the impression that African football still isn't taken as seriously as it should be. Maybe our run will change a few minds out there. You don't take part at the Club World Cup by accident – we deserve to be here as the best team in our continent.
“We already made an appearance last year, but we weren't really ready to step up a level. This year, we decided that if we were going to be taking part, our aim would be to win the whole competition.
“It'll be an honour to play against Samuel Eto'o and Inter. We're all keen to show that we can mix it with the big boys, and perhaps even beat them. If we perform as best we can, Africa will be proud of us.”