Abu Dhabi: Lucas Caio is excited at the speculation linking him away from Al Ain after finishing second to Gareth Bale in the Club World Cup Player of the Tournament award following his side’s 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the final.
There have already been reports linking the 24-year-old Brazilian playmaker to Portuguese sides Benfica and Porto, after his standout performances in the competition.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “I’m very happy to do what I do and help my team. If I do the best for my team, the things will come.”
Asked if his future remained with Al Ain, with whom he is contracted until June, he said: “I don’t know, I leave it for my agent and what he decides. I just do my best for my team and if the things come I will wait for things. I have a contract until June. If I have to stay I will stay.”
Caio got the equaliser against River Plate in a shock semi-final win on penalties and also scored two penalties in shoot-outs against Wellington in the play-off and the first against River. He also scored in the final against Real but it was ruled offside.
I don’t know, I leave it for my agent and what he decides. I just do my best for my team and if the things come I will wait for things. I have a contract until June. If I have to stay I will stay.
Goals from Luka Modric, Marcos Llorente, Sergio Ramos and Vinicius Junior were only disrupted by a Tsukasa Shiotani consolation in the final.
“It was a difficult match, but we gave 100 per cent to try to do something against Real. We must respect them, we know they are Real, but we are very happy to be second.
“If you come second you have to be proud of this because we did our best. We have a lot of confidence now and must continue like this to do our best in the league,” he added, where Al Ain are currently third in the Arabian Gulf League, three points behind leaders Sharjah with a game in hand.
Al Ain striker Marcus Berg agreed this cup run had to now be carried forward into the league. “Now, we showed what we can do we have to take it with us,” he said. “It’s a different kind of football in the league if you compare to this tournament. But we showed what we can do and we have to keep it up in the league also.
“It was a tough game against a great team,” he added of the final. “I don’t think we played our best. We didn’t come out with the same energy, which is normal with this being the fourth tough game in a few days,” he said in reference to having played and beaten Wellington 4-3, ES Tunis 3-0 and River Plate 5-4 in the earlier rounds.
“We could have gone one up,” he added of Hussain Al Shahat’s early effort cleared off the line by Ramos. “Then the game would have been a little different. It would have been more open for us, but they were one, maybe two steps better than us today. We weren’t really there.
“We have to look back at a great tournament. We won against South American champions, African champions, Oceanian champions, so we have to take that with us. Even though we didn’t perform great today we have to be proud of what we’ve done.
“It’s been a great experience for everyone. The whole UAE has supported us and we showed great quality, great fighting spirit. Everyone has to be proud, but right now it’s a big disappointment.”