International

Zidane guards against complacency in Club WC

2017-12-12 22:50
Zinedine Zidane (AP)

Abu Dhabi - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has warned his side not to take Al Jazira lightly as the clubs prepare to meet in the semi-final of the Club World Cup on Wednesday.

Al Jazira are appearing at the tournament as champions of the host nation the United Arab Emirates, and reached the last four by edging out Auckland City of New Zealand 1-0 and then defeating the Asian champions Urawa Red Diamonds by the same score-line at the weekend.

"It is not going to be easy for us. If we think that we are wrong," said Zidane at a press conference on Tuesday.

Real are hoping to successfully defend the Club World Cup trophy they won in Japan 12 months ago - when Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick in the final helped see off Kashima Antlers -- and win a club record fifth title in the same calendar year.

But Zidane warned that, for Al Jazira, who are coached by the former Barcelona assistant boss Henk ten Cate, "this is their game of the year and that is why we need to be prepared".

Of the prospect of winning a fifth trophy this year, he added: "I don't think (this would be the club's best year) because Real Madrid is a big club, but it motivates me and all the players.

"We want to defend the title we won last year and that is why we came here."

Zidane's squad travelled fresh from a 5-0 win against Sevilla in La Liga at the weekend and the coach indicated that both Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane could be involved in the game, which kicks off at 9pm local time (17:00 GMT) at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

"On Monday and today (Tuesday) they trained well, without problems, and took part in the whole session," Zidane added of the duo.

If Madrid win Wednesday's game, they will face Gremio in the final on Saturday after the Brazilians beat Pachuca of Mexico 1-0 after extra time in Tuesday's first semi-final in Al Ain.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.