Off To The Club World Cup

17 Dec

The boys pose with their images on the new Real Madrid plane

The team traveled to Abu Dhabi yesterday to begin preparations for the Club World Cup semi-final match vs. Kashima Antlers on Wednesday.


The team made the 6 hour plus flight to Abu Dhabi on their nifty glamour plane and are headquartered at the Four Seasons hotel on Al Maryah Island through the tournament. (Video)

Call Ups

The following players were called up for the Club World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Casilla and Courtois.
Defenders: Carvajal, Vallejo, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Odriozola, Reguilón and Javi Sánchez.
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, M. Llorente, Asensio, Isco and Ceballos.
Forwards: Mariano, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Vinicius Jr.


The team trained today in Zayed Sports City Stadium. G-Money, Mariano and Nacho did individual exercises on the pitch while Asensio began outside and then moved indoors to finish his workout. (Video)



Solari: “Being in the Club World Cup is fantastic and we want to retain the title”
by Javier Garcia (Abu Dhabi) | Photographers: Helios De La Rubia/Antonio Villalba

“It’s a great pleasure to take part in this tournament, it means that Real Madrid won the Champions League”, added the coach.

Real Madrid are already in Abu Dhabi, where they will try to retain the Club World Cup title. Shortly after landing, Solari gave his first impressions to the official FIFA media about the competition that starts on Wednesday for the Whites: “For the club it’s great to be here, it means that Real Madrid are Champions League champions again and it’s the trophy that we like the most”.

“To be in the Club World Cup again is fantastic and we hope to retain the title this year, which these great players already won last year”.

Team form
“It’s always important to go in to this tournament off the back of a win. The Club World Cup has already begun, we have been following it on television and now we’re happy to have arrived and turn our focus to Wednesday’s game. Until now we were thinking about Rayo, who were our previous opponent, and the only thing that has happened after has been a flight. Now we’ll concentrate and begin to prepare for the first match against Kashima Antlers”.


Ramos: “Our objective is to take the cup home”
by Javier Garcia (Abu Dhabi) | Photographers: Helios De La Rubia/Antonio Villalba

“We have the first match on Wednesday and we’d like to give something back to the people who always welcome us here and show us a lot of support”, said the captain.

Sergio Ramos will look to win his 20th title with Real Madrid in Abu Dhabi. The captain will once again lead a team that has won the Club World Cup in the last two seasons. After landing in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the Andalusian spoke to the FIFA media: “I’m very happy to return to Abu Dhabi, it’s a good sign. It means that the season has gone well”.

“Winning the Champions League means you have the opportunity to play in the Club World Cup again and we’ve got the same objective, to take the cup home. We have the first match on Wednesday and we’d like to give something back to the people who always welcome us here and show us a lot of support”.

“Personal objectives are secondary, the team’s goals come first: winning the Club World Cup and hopefully taking the trophy back home with us. On a personal level, if I can play well, that’ll be a bonus and hopefully it’ll benefit the team”.



Modric: “This Club World Cup is a very important challenge for us”

“We’ll be going all out to win it. We’re really up for it because it would see us take our place in the history books”, added Odriozola.

Real Madrid start their 2018 Club World Cup campaign against Kashima Antlers in the semi-final (Wednesday, 5:30pm CET), and Modric spoke about the competition: “It’s a very important challenge for us. What this team has, and has proven many times, is quality and character. Despite the difficult times and the problems we’ve encountered along the way, we always know how to overcome them. We’re prepared for what awaits us and we want to finish this year, which has been perfect, in the best possible way”.

“After winning the Champions League three times in a row, we want to do the same with the Club World Cup. For Real Madrid it’s always important to win titles and we want to win this for the third time in a row. For me it’s always important to help the team in the best way possible, I’m not overly concerned with the individual side of things. The important thing is how we’re going to play as a team, take on this challenge and win the title”.

“This team needs their support. We’ve always shown that we’ll fight until the end to win the titles, we’ll give everything on the field to be successful in the future”.

Odriozola: “We couldn’t be any more up for it”
“We couldn’t be any more up for it. It’s a chance for me to lift my first piece of silverware with Real Madrid and that’s something you dream of. I’m really excited and we’re working hard to win it. At a club like Real Madrid, which always aims to win everything going, having the chance to win a trophy gives you even more hunger to keep on working and fighting”.

“It’s a dream come true because to be involved in this competition means that you’ve won the Champions League and it’s an added source of motivation. Not every player gets the chance to play in this tournament and it’s a unique opportunity. You’ve got to savour every moment and each day and the most important thing is that we try and win the trophy, because both the fans and we deserve it”.

Valverde: “It’d be really special to win it”
“Real Madrid are involved in the Club World Cup because we deserve to be. The team has won a lot of games to get here and it would be a real achievement to win the competition. To lift the trophy for a third successive year would be really special and that’s a motivating factor. I’m delighted to be here with the team. I’ve had to fight hard, just like any other youth-team player who has to work their way up from the bottom. I’ll try to make the most of the opportunity and it’ll be really special if we win it”.

“I’m young and winning my first piece of silverware with the best club in the world would be special. We’ll be doing our all to win it. I would ask our fans to continue to support us just as they always do and have done up until now and I thank them for the way they support us every day. We’ll be fighting right until the end to win the trophy”.



Bale: “We will work hard to be crowned champions”

“We want to win the Club World Cup for the third time in a row”, added Lucas Vázquez.

Real Madrid start their run in the Club World Cup this Wednesday in the semi-finals, taking on Kashima Antlers in Abu Dhabi (5:30pm CET). Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Carvajal spoke on Realmadrid TV about the next objective. The Welshman said: “Every time we play a competition we want to win it, so we want to win this trophy again”.

“I don’t have a memory of a specific moment, but I’m remember the first time we won this competition, I want to thank the fans for supporting us wherever we go and we’ll work hard to be crowned champions”.

Lucas Vázquez: “We want to win the third in a row”
“It is not easy getting to the Club World Cup three years in a row. I have great memories from the last two finals that we were lucky to win. We’re all geared up to try and win this third title”.

“The key is to focus on your aim from the first day, we want to win the trophy and we have to play two matches in order to do so. We have to understand the importance of it all”.

“The secret over the last three years has been team work, having everyone involved, every single day. We’ve all been pulling in the same direction. The work we have done, the speed, quick execution, scoring goals. That is what makes us win titles”.

Carvajal: “Experience is fundamental”
“Experience is a fundamental value in this type of championships and we’ve had good experiences in this competition. Hopefully we can win the title again. It’ll not be easy, first you have to play the semi-final to get to the final. For us it is an extra motivation that all the teams want to beat us. It demands the maximum of you and it’s very nice”.

“To serve as an example for many academy players, wearing the badge all over the world, trying to win the Club World Cup again and wining the respect of everyone is something fantastic that we want to achieve again”.

Message for the fans
“That they’re with us and continue to support us as they have been. We’re going to work hard to win the Club World Cup, which is very important for all madridistas. We hope they get behind us and encourage us, being the twelfth man and we will give everything out on the field”.

Desire to win titles
“I always try to give the most in training and games. I don’t like losing, I’m very competitive and I’ll continue to be until I retire. That’s the same for everyone, when you wake up each morning with the desire to train, to give your best, to keep winning titles. There is no greater motivation than seeing the faces of the fans when you win Champions Leagues and leagues”.


Vinicius Jr: “We’ll be going all out to win the trophy”

“We’re involved in this trophy because we won the Champions League and it’s really important for us”, Reguilón told Realmadrid TV.

In the wake of the team’s first training session in Abu Dhabi, Vinicius Jr. and Sergio Reguilón spoke to Realmadrid TV as they offered their thoughts on things ahead of the side’s Club World Cup opener. The Brazilian commented: “We’ve got to keep working hard to win our games, which is the most important thing. Marcelo and Casemiro are always giving my advice because they’ve been here for a long time now. It’s a dream come true for me, it’s a dream I’ve had since I was a child. Now that we’ve got this semi-final match coming up, we’re happy to be here and we’ll be going all out to win the trophy”.

Reguilón: “We’ll go out there and give 100%”
“We’re adapting to the climate and the thermal perception and it’s all good. There’s no margin for error, we’ll have to go out there and give 100% because no slip-ups are allowed at this club and you’ve got to be focused. It’s a source of pride and a duty. We’re involved in this trophy because we won the Champions League, it’s really important for us and we’ll be going all out to win it”.

“When we were litte, at Valdebebas we were asked who I favourite player was and I always said that it was Roberto Carlos. He offers me a lot of really good advice and between him and Marcelo I really couldn’t have any better mentors”.

Meet and Greet

The team met with lucky fans and signed autographs at their hotel.  Fans also were able to attend the training session.

Next Opponent in the Champions League

We found out our next opponents in the Champions League: Ajax. The first leg will take place in Amsterdam on February 13 and the return leg will be at the Bernabeu on March 5. Here is the rest of the draw:

Schalke vs, Manchester City
Atletico Madrid vs, Juventus
Manchester United vs. Paris-Saint Germain
Tottenham vs, Borussia Dortmund
Olympique Lyon vs. Barcelona
Roma vs. Porto
Liverpool vs. Bayern Munich

Hoping to see a more invigorated team as we head into these matches. The weekend was a let down again. Wish I could figure out what the team really needs and take up a collection to get it for them for Christmas. I know a lot of us have ideas!

– Lozil

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