Did you find an error?
Contact Us | Agence France-Presse
O Real Madrid part as a great favorite to get a third consecutive title in the Club World Cupthat Saturday in Abu Dhabi (13:30), in an unexpected final before the revelation of the tournament, the host Al Ain Emirati.
RM: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Llorente, Kroos, Modric; Vázquez, Benzema and Bale.
AL: Eisa; Ahmad, Ahmed, Fayaz, Shiotani; Yaslem, Doumbia, Elshahat, Caio; Berg, Abdulrahman.
On paper, the Spanish team has everything in their power to lift the trophy, which would be the quarter of its history with the current format and the seventh if its three Intercontinental Cups are taken into account, the competition that is the direct antecedent of the World Cup of Clubs.
Although many thought of a stellar final at Real Madrid-River Plate, the Argentine team, who crowned Copa Libertadores champion on December 9, fell into the semifinals and dropped penalties against Al Ain.
"This river is expected to pass, but you can not talk about surprises, because they are results that have already occurred in other editions. more competitive than people can expect, "Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari told a news conference on Friday.
Must win the title, Real Madrid would end a convulsive year of 2018, marked by his thirteenth European title and the exits of coach Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, and gain confidence after the irregularity of the last weeks, which even led supporters the Santiago Bernabéu to boo them.
Marco Asensio's offensive midfielder will not be in the final, who in the semifinal of Wednesday before the Antlers Kashima (3-1) relapse of his muscle injury in the right thigh.
With whom can you say that Solari is with Gareth Bale, lethal on Wednesday against the Japanese with a hat-trick and has six goals in all his appearances in the Club World Cup, which is just one of Cristiano Ronaldo's (7) records.
Another that can set a new record is the German Toni Kroos, that in the case where Real Madrid is a champion would raise five of its number of titles in the Club World Cup, breaking the equality to four that maintains with Cristiano Ronaldo in the top of the palmarés.
In front of them will be an Al Ain that is before the most prestigious game in its history.
It is the most successful club in the United Arab Emirates and has gone through the semifinals that his countryman Al Jazeera reached in this competition last year.
It will be the fourth time that a team from outside Europe or South America has disputed the final of the Club World Cup after TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo (2010), the Moroccan Raja Casablanca (2013) and the Japanese Kashima Antlers (2016).
In all of them, these teams have fallen in the final against European teams, so Al Ain has the challenge of making history.
"We are almost like a Smart and a Mercedes, but sometimes a Smart can beat a Mercedes", the Croatian coach of the Emirates, Zoran Mamic, estimated on Friday, making an analogy to a car race.