Gremio's reality check in Club World Cup final

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Gremios reality check in Club World Cup final
Real Madrid's coach Zinedine Zidane during a press conference.

Abu Dhabi - We will do our best to lift the title: Gremio coach

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 15 Dec 2017, 10:18 PM

Last updated: Sat 16 Dec 2017, 12:26 AM

It's the Fifa Club World Cup UAE 2017 final. One finalist - Real Madrid and opponent - a team from Brazil, one would imagine the Spanish superstars have already got one hand on the crown and just need to complete formality on Saturday night.
However, the semifinal struggle against Al Jazira has made things interesting for the defending champions. No doubt, Real Madrid remain one of the best in the world but Gremio could possibly spoil the party at Zayed Sports City Stadium on Saturday night.
There seems to be more hunger among underdogs in this tournament to prove their credentials while Real Madrid seem to be in hurry to get the job done and return home. The task has proved to be not that easy. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo had 11 attempts on goal to finally get one past Al Jazira. Things might be lot difficult against on Saturday as Gremio are no pushovers.
The 'King of Cups' won 67 regional titles, nine national and six international championships including the Intercontinental Cup now known as the Club World Cup. And they got a flamboyant coach in Gremio coach Renato Portaluppi 'Gaucho' who didn't mince words when he said: "Real are the favourites but we haven't come for a picnic. We are going to give our best."
Gaucho said Real will face a tough opponent in Gremio. "We will do our best to lift the title," the Brazilian said during the press conference on Friday.
The coach said Gremio have undying willpower and the players are all set for the fight.
"This is the most important match of our lives. We have faith in ourselves to win the match," the coach added. Gremio star Everton Soares said facing Real Madrid was a dream everyone in the team had since the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores Championship. "We know they're massive stars of world football, but on the pitch it's 11 versus 11 and let's just see who wins. We're going to try and match them," Soares said.
Meanwhile, Real coach Zinedine Zidane said the team will raise its level in the final.
"We are going to try to improve. That's clear, because they are physically and technically better team, and stronger than Al Jazira. We're convinced of playing a better match with the ball and in all other aspects."
Amid criticism about perfromance, Zidane backed Karim Benzema to come good.
"I like what Karim does for the team. He's one of the best in this regard, and in the team game. I value that a lot. I'm going to defend Benzema to death."
Zidane said confidence in the team is growing but he gave Real a 50-50 chance.
"Gremio deserves to be in the final and we are not favourites. It's 50-50," the Frenchman said.
"But we are here to win the champions and trophies are the most beautiful thing in football," Zidane added.
If they beat Gremio, Real will become the first club to defend the crown in the history of the tournament. Ronaldo & Co will be raring to go and Gremio trying to etch their names in history books.

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