Abu Dhabi: Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said Los Blancos will treat Al Ain with the same respect they show Barcelona or Bayern Munich in Saturday’s Fifa Club World Cup final.
“I didn’t see their game to be honest,” he said of the UAE side’s shock 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over River Plate on Tuesday. “But we will analyse our opponent for the final and let’s see what kind of team we meet.
“We don’t know them, which always makes it a little more difficult, but of course we go there to win the trophy.
“We need to try and win this again, we’ve done it the last two years and we are here with the same motivation. Winning this would write history as we would be the first side to win it three times in a row. This is our goal and we will fight for it.”
Real meet Al Ain after having beaten Kashima Antlers 3-1 in Wednesday’s other semi-final, courtesy of an 11 minute hat-trick from Gareth Bale before a late consolation by Doi Shoma.
Will it be easy? “No, if you think this you are going to lose, you have to be concentrated as if it’s a normal league or Champions League game. If we play this way then we are going to win.”
Spanish winger Lucas Vazquez, said: “We thought that the final against River would happen but football is strange and you never know what will happen.
“It just shows that if you don’t give the game or an opponent the respect they deserve then you’ll get a surprise.”
Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois agreed: “We cannot make assumptions about the team we face and we have to beat them. We need to win the Club World Cup.
“We’ve seen yesterday’s game between River and Al Ain and you cannot make assumptions regarding the opposition, it’s hard. We must adapt well because they play in a different style to what we are used to in Europe.”