Illustrative photo – Real Madrid – Al-Ahli Club World Cup match in Rabat, from the right Vinícius Júnior from Real and Metwaly Mahmoud from Al-Ahli.
Rabat – Footballers from Real Madrid and Al-Hilal will compete for the title in the final of the Club World Cup on Saturday. The Spanish big club can confirm the position of the most successful team of the competition with their fifth triumph, the team from Saudi Arabia strives to win the premier trophy for the Asian continent. The duel in the Moroccan capital of Rabat will start at 20:00 and will be officiated by English referees led by Anthony Taylor.
In Wednesday's semi-final, Real won 4:1 against the Egyptian team Al-Ahli. However, he increased the score with two goals in the set-up and coach Carlo Ancelotti was not 100% satisfied with the team's performance.
“At 2:0 we thought we had won, and we conceded. But after the match, it definitely wasn't. Like this it can't go on, you have to keep your concentration until the very end,” said the coach, who dominated the tournament with Real back in 2014. He led AC Milan to triumph in 2007. “We can lose more than we gain in this tournament,” he pointed out that “White Ballet” is a clear favorite.
The Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, who missed the last two competitive matches due to injury, could also help Real in the final. The reigning champions of the Champions League will try to maintain the supremacy of European teams, having won nine times in a row since 2012. A year ago in the United Arab Emirates, London's Chelsea took over the tournament.
Champion of the Asian Champions League Al-Hilal will appear in the Club World Cup final for the first time. Coach Ramón Díaz's men entered the tournament already in the quarter-finals against the home team Wydad (1:1 and 4:3 on penalties) and in the semi-finals they surprisingly got past the Brazilian team Flamengo. “The opponent was surprised by our strength and tactical preparation for the match. We can easily surprise again in the final,” said the Argentine coach.
Al-Hilal scored three of the four goals in the tournament from penalty kicks. Both penalties in the final were converted by Sálim Davsári, one of the main architects of Saudi Arabia's sensational victory over Argentina at the World Cup in Qatar.
The duel for third place between Flamengo and Al-Ahli will take place on Saturday from 16:30. The match was originally supposed to take place in Rabat, but the organizers moved it to Tangier at the last minute.