Club World Cup final preview: Madrid eye landmark win

Real Madrid will look to equal Barcelona's record of three FIFA Club World Cup triumphs and retain the trophy when they take on Brazilian side Grêmio in Saturday's final in Abu Dhabi.

Real Madrid training ahead of the Club World Cup final
Real Madrid training ahead of the Club World Cup final ©Getty Images
  • Real Madrid facing Grêmio in Saturday's FIFA Club World Cup final (18:00CET kick-off)
  • Zidane says his team are 'growing and we need to show it'.
  • Madrid have no injury worries ahead of game against Brazilian team
  • European sides have won their last nine Club World Cup games
  • Madrid beat Al-Jazira 2-1 in semi-final with Ronaldo and Bale on target

How many Madrid players make your Team of the Year?

How Madrid might line up

Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić, Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo

Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach

Zinédine Zidane addresses the media in Abu Dhabi
Zinédine Zidane addresses the media in Abu Dhabi©Getty Images

"We're full of hope and excitement for the game. We're keen to bring another title home; that's why were here. We've been here for a week, preparing for this final. Now we're here, we really want above anything to go home with the trophy. We're here because we won the UEFA Champions League, and we want to defend our title. We need to think about Saturday's game. We will need to play a really good match if we want to win. We're growing and we need to show it; tomorrow would be a good time to do just that.

"I'm familiar with Grêmio because I've watched quite a lot of their matches but I'm not too sure of the level of the Brazilian League right now. They're a strong team and they'll give us a good game. It'll likely be a difficult match. Like us, the Brazilians qualified for the final and they deserve to be there. They'll want to win just as much as us. It's not going to be easy."

Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid captain

"It's another chance to reaffirm our status as world champions. We really want to go home with another trophy under our belts. We're up for it and whenever there's a title at stake, people are motivated that little bit extra. It would be the club's sixth Club World Cup title, meaning it's a special match. It would be an unforgettable year for us and the fans if we were to win it. It would be a sign that we're doing things well."

Grêmio needed extra time to win their semi-final
Grêmio needed extra time to win their semi-final©Getty Images

Grêmio players with European experience

• Bruno Grassi (GK, BRA): Marítimo (POR, 2008–10)
• Paulo Victor (GK, BRA): Gaziantepspor, loan (TUR, 2016–17)
• Bruno Cortês (DEF, BRA): Benfica, loan (POR, 2013–14)
• Pedro Geromel (DEF, BRA): Chaves (POR, 2004–05), Vitória SC (POR, 2005–08), Köln (GER, 2018–14), Mallorca, loan (ESP, 2012–13)
• Leo Moura (DEF, BRA): Germinal Beerschot (BEL, 1999–2000), Den Haag (2000–2001), Braga (2005)
• Cristian (MID, BRA): Fenerbahçe (TUR, 2009–14)
• Cícero (MID, BRA): Hertha Berlin (GER, 2008–10), Wolfsburg, loan (GER, 2010–11)
• Douglas (MID, BRA): Rizespor (TUR, 2005–06)
• Fernandinho (MID, BRA): Verona, loan (2015)
• Maicon (MID, BRA): Duisberg (2007–10)
• Lucas Barrios (FOR, PAR): Dortmund (GER, 2009–12), Spartak Moskva (RUS, 2013–15), Montpellier, loan (FRA, 2014–15)
• Beto da Silva (FOR, PER): PSV Eindhoven (NED, 2016–17)
• Jael (FOR, BRA): Kalmar (SWE, 2010)

Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi after the 2015 final
Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi after the 2015 final©Getty Images

Club World Cup facts

• Cristiano Ronaldo's goal against Al-Jazira saw him overtake Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi to become the top scorer for European clubs in the Club World Cup with six goals.

• Two players have hit a hat-trick for a European side at the finals, Suárez against China's Guangzhou Evergrande in the 2015 semi-finals and Ronaldo versus Kashima Antlers in last year's final.

• Messi and Ronaldo are the only players to have scored at three Club World Cups. The Argentinian scored in the 2009, 2011 and 2015 editions while the Portuguese was on target in 2008, 2016 and 2017.

• Ronaldo is the only player to have found the target in a Club World Cup for more than one European side – Manchester United in 2008 and Real Madrid in both 2016 and 2017.

• Toni Kroos and Ronaldo are the only players to have lifted this trophy with two different clubs. The German midfielder was triumphant with Bayern in 2013 and Madrid in 2016 while the Portuguese tasted glory with United in 2008 and Madrid in 2014 and 2016.

• Barcelona are the only team to have won the competition three times, triumphing in 2009, 2011 and 2015. Four Barcelona men played in all three of those finals: Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets and Messi.

Cristiano Ronaldo following his maiden success
Cristiano Ronaldo following his maiden success©Getty Images

• A European side has featured in the final of all but one of the 13 editions of the Club World Cup, Corinthians beating fellow Brazilians Vasco da Gama on penalties after a 0-0 draw in Rio de Janeiro in that initial 2000 decider.

• In that tournament, Manchester United (eliminated in the group stage) and Real Madrid (defeated on penalties in the semi-finals) became the first – and so far only – European representatives to fail to reach a Club World Cup decider.

• After that inaugural edition, the Club World Cup did not take place again until 2005, with the competition then replacing the European/South American Cup – last contested in 2004 – in the UEFA club calendar.

• European teams at the finals have won their last nine games, not conceding in seven of those matches.

• Chelsea's 1-0 reverse against Corinthians in the 2012 final is the sole defeat for a European side in their last 21 fixtures in the competition.

• European clubs' overall record in 31 Club World Cup games is W24 D3 L4.

Chelsea following their defeat in the 2012 final
Chelsea following their defeat in the 2012 final©Getty Images

Club World Cup winners by nation

5: Spain
1: England, Germany

Most European Club World Cup goals by team

23: Barcelona, Real Madrid
10: Manchester United
6: Internazionale Milano
5: Bayern München
5: AC Milan
3: Chelsea
3: Liverpool

Wayne Rooney scored in the 2008 final
Wayne Rooney scored in the 2008 final©Getty Images

European sides' Club World Cup scorers

6: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid)
5: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luis Suárez (Barcelona)
3: Nicolas Anelka (Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
2: Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Quinton Fortune (Manchester United), Raúl González (Real Madrid), Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan), Seydou Keita (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Pedro Rodríguez (Barcelona)
1: Adriano (Barcelona), Jonathan Biabiany (Internazionale), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Nicky Butt (Manchester United), Dante (Bayern München), Deco (Barcelona), Samuel Eto'o (Internazionale), Cesc Fàbregas (Barcelona), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Geremi (Real Madrid), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Mario Götze (Bayern München), Eidur Gudjónsen (Barcelona), Xavi Hernández (Barcelona), Fernando Hierro (Real Madrid), Isco (Real Madrid), Kaká (AC Milan), Mario Mandžukić (Bayern München), Rafael Márquez (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Maxwell (Barcelona), Diego Milito (Internazionale), Fernando Morientes (Real Madrid), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Goran Pandev (Internazionale), Franck Ribéry (Bayern München), Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Sávio (Real Madrid), Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan), Dejan Stanković (Internazionale), Thiago Alcántara (Bayern München), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United), Dwight Yorke (Manchester United), Javier Zanetti (Internazionale), own goal (Chelsea)

FIFA Club World Cup roll of honour

Milan lifted the trophy in 2007
Milan lifted the trophy in 2007©Getty Images

Barcelona 3 (2009, 2011, 2015)
Real Madrid 2 (2014, 2016)
Corinthians 2 (2000, 2012)
AC Milan 1 (2007)
Bayern München 1 (2013)
Internacional 1 (2006)
Internazionale Milano 1 (2010)
Manchester United 1 (2008)
São Paulo 1 (2005)

World club titles in full*

Real Madrid 5 (1960, 1998, 2002 + 2014, 2016)
AC Milan 4 (1969, 1989, 1990 + 2007)
Barcelona 3 (2009, 2011, 2015)
Bayern München 3 (1976, 2001 + 2013)
Boca Juniors 3 (1977, 2000, 2003)
Internazionale Milano (1964, 1965 + 2010)
Nacional 3 (1971, 1989, 1988)
Peñarol 3 (1961, 1966, 1982)
São Paulo 3 (1992, 1993 + 2005)

*Includes European/South American Cup + FIFA Club World Cup