Ready For The Final

15 Dec

The team had their final training session before facing Gremio in the Club World Cup final tomorrow.


All 24 players took part in the session. (Video)



Zidane: “We’ve reached the final and our biggest dream is to return home with the trophy”

“Gremio are a technical and phyiscal side, but we’re here to defend our title”, added the Whites’ coach.

Zinedine Zidane took to the media room at the Zayed Sports City Stadium to address the press on the eve of the Club World Cup final (Saturday, 6pm CET), with the Whites’ boss expressing his confidence in his side: “We head into the final with real excitement, that’s the key word for us. It’s that excitement to bring another trophy home. That’s what we’re here for, we’ve been here for a week to prepare to win this trophy. Now that we’ve made it through to the final our biggest dream is to return home with the trophy”.

“We’re here because we won the Champions League. Trophies are the most special thing in the game and we’re here to defend our title, which is exactly what we deserve to do. We’re improving and tomorrow’s is a good game to show that and go out and put in a good display”.

“It’s a final and they’re always 50-50 games. Gremio have deserved to reach the final, just like us. This is a totally new game and there are no favourites in the final. Real Madrid have won a lot of games but that doesn’t mean anything. The history of this great club is important, but everyone who works for the club knows that the most important thing is always the next day. We want to make history at this club and to do so we’ll have to turn in a good performance, respect the opposition and take the trophy. That’s the hope held by all those of us who work hard to make this club successful”.

The opposition
“They’re a technical and physically strong side who are good on the counter-attack. We’re going to try and prepare for the game a bit better because they’re strong opposition, but we’re certain that we’re going to put in a better display”.

“I don’t think that we played poorly in the semi-final, particularly in terms of possession. We had our chances and it was odd that we didn’t score in the opening 45 minutes, that would have changed the game. There were things that happened and that we’ve talked about to improve on in ahead of our next game. We’re just focused on that and in delivering a better performance against much better and tougher opposition”.

“I don’t agree with the criticism he is receiving. I don’t just look at his goalscoring. He’s a different sort of player and is not one who is going to go and get you 50 or 60 goals. He’s scored a lot of goals for this club, but what I really like is what he brings to the team. For me, he’s one of the best players in the business when it comes to being a team player. I attach a great deal of importance to that and I’ll back him to the hilt. I defend my players when they’re going through a bad patch, but it’s not true of Karim”.

“I’m really happy to see Gareth back with us, that’s the most important thing for the player and us. He looks very happy and is very comfortable amongst his teammates. Let’s see how he gets on. Tomorrow is a final and he’s ready to play”.

Gremio’s coach claims he was better than Ronaldo
“It’s some statement but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. He was a good player but I wouldn’t compare them. In my eyes, Cristiano is far better. That’s what he said and you’ve got to respect that. I saw him play and he was a really good player”.


Ramos: “Winning the Club World Cup would round off an unforgettable year
by Javier Garcia (Abu Dhabi)

“You’ve got to think about the colours that we defend and making our fans happy”, declared the captain.

Sergio Ramos addressed the press gathered inside the media room at the Zayed Sports City Stadium to offer his thoughts ahead of the Club World Cup final against Gremio: “There’s a title at stake and we want to put a smile on our fans’ faces. This is another chance to stake our claim as world champions. It’s another final, which we go into with real excitement and desire to return home with another piece of silverware. Winning the Club World Cup would round off an unforgettable year”.

“Our history means that we have a duty to be up for every game, so you can just imagine what it’s like when a final comes around. We’re really motivated for this. Whenever there’s a trophy to be won there’s always that added motivation. It’s another chance to win yet another title, our sixth Club World Cup crown, and we always enjoy adding more titles to our trophy haul”.

Advice from Zidane
“The gaffer’s words are always useful because he offers us another take on things and that gives us added motivation. When there’s a title up for grabs there’s not all that much to say, but you’re always open to advice. You’ve got to think about the colours that we defend and about making our fans, who want to be rewarded, happy”.

His fitness
“I’m feeling quite a lot better after the discomfort I had in my soleus muscle and a minor muscle contracture that I had in my back and neck area. I’ve trained without any problems and am available for selection. My nature means that I like to give my all if the coach picks me to play. It was a big contracture and had it happened at another time, I would have considered another option, but I enjoy playing in the big games and you’ve got to put that extra bit of effort in”.

“We know all about them. We watched their game against Pachuca and we’ve studied them. They’re a very good side in technical terms and have players that can make the difference and are quick on the counter-attack. Their striker is out of the final, but they won’t make our lives easy. They’re a team that competes very well with a coach who was a player himself and that always means that they pass things on to their squad. We’re ready to contest this title”.

“It would be a magnificent and unforgettable year for our fans and for the history of this club if we were to win the Club World Cup. The stats are there and they can’t be taken away from us. What we’ve achieved is significant and let’s hope that we can enjoy winning this title because it would mean that we’re going about things in the right way”.

LaLiga suspension if sent off in final
“That decision has been taken and there’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ll have to be careful because El Clásico is an important game, but there’s also a title at stake here. There shouldn’t be any issues”.

“Anything that’s there to help is positive, but initially it’s all a bit of a struggle. The other day we ended up standing around for a bit and the two decisions were correct. The less time we’re made to stand around, the better, but gradually everything will run smoothly. I believe that it’ll help and think that it has taken too long for this technology to be introduced into the game”.

Time spent with teammates in Abu Dhabi
“These days spent together are always special and are enjoyable experiences and it’s not the sort of thing that you get to do every day. It’s like when you go camping with your mates, but there’s a title to be won and it’s serious business. We’re much closer out here and spending so many hours together means that you form a good group and it does us good. One of the keys to success is togetherness and these long trips make the group stronger”.

New faces in the winter window?
“It’s somebody else’s job to make the decisions about whether to bring any players in. We’ve got a really great squad here to fight on all fronts and we’re open to any decisions which are made by the club’s hierarchy. There’ll be plenty of time to spend on the winter transfer window, but right now we have to focus on tomorrow’s final and El Clásico”.

Spain to be thrown out of World Cup?
“I don’t think that Spain will relinquish what we’ve fought for on the pitch all because of office affairs. I’d struggle to believe that Spain won’t be at the World Cup. I don’t think it could happen”.

And here’s some bonus Sergio:

Hala Madrid!

– Lozil

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