Real Madrid, ultra-favorite of the World Cup of football clubs, will attempt on Saturday to earn a third consecutive victory against the modest Emirati club of Al-Ain, host of this World Cup which has already achieved the best performance in its history on the occasion of this competition.
Landed in the United Arab Emirates in a tense situation, with disappointing results in Spain and a few weeks after the arrival of the new coach Santiago Solari, the Madrilenians are in a paradoxical situation, at the end of the final Saturday at 16:30 GMT.
Because winning is the obligation against an opponent as unlikely as Al-Ain, surprising defender of the Argentinian River Plate team in the semifinals. A defeat could even ignite the powders of a new crisis in Real Madrid.
However, in case of victory, the “Casa Blanca” would enter a little more in the history of the competition: it would win its fourth title in five years in the current formula of the World Cup clubs, ahead of a unit his eternal rival FC Barcelona (3).
If we add the three coronations obtained when the competition was still called the Intercontinental Cup, the club would reach the 7 trophies.
– Al-Ain wants to “win” –
“I think it’s a nice tournament, I like the idea of bringing together the champions of the different confederations and competing in a world championship, and I remember very well being a small member of the Intercontinental Cup, and then I had to come several times, “said Santiago Solari, who won this Cup in 2002 as a player with Real Madrid.
To face Al-Ain, Real Madrid announced Friday that he will do without his midfielder Marco Asensio, who has again injured his right thigh.
On the other hand, he will be able to count on Gareth Bale, the great architect of the semifinal win against the Japanese Kashima Antlers (3-1), thanks to a hat trick.
For their part, Al-Ain players have already made history by becoming the first Emirati team to play in a final of the World Club, even though they owe their presence in the competition this year only to the fact to represent the organizing country.
Not enough to undermine the ambition of the club: “I hope I’m not Croatia of this World Cup (clubs) because I hope to do better than Croatia in the World Cup” against France, launched Croatian coach Al-Ain, Zoran Mamic. “They lost the final and I want to win it.”