Real Madrid's Marcelo respects all teams including Al Jazira ahead of Fifa Club World Cup semi-finals
Vice-captain insists there are no easy games and that defending champions will take one game at a time
Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo says his side will not underestimate Al Jazira when the two meet in Wednesday’s Fifa Club World Cup semi-final.
The Spanish champions, attempting to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy, go into the match at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City as heavy favourites. In contrast, UAE champions Jazira are this year making their debut in the tournament.
Should Madrid win, they will play in Saturday’s final either Brazil’s Gremio or Mexico’s Pachuca, who go head-to-head in their last-four encounter on Tuesday night in Al Ain.
However, Marcelo is refusing to look past Jazira.
“We’ve got the semi-final first, and we have to win it, so that we can then start thinking about the final,” the full-back told Fifa.com. “We want to win the Club World Cup, which is a very important tournament, but we know that we have to take things one game at a time.
“We can't just turn up and say: ‘We’re going to win and that’s that’. No. You have to respect all the teams, like they respect us, and give all you can to win the title.”
Marcelo was part of the Madrid team that lifted the title in 2014 in Morocco, and again in Japan last year. Should they win the Club World Cup for a third time this week, they will join Spanish rivals Barcelona as the most successful side in the tournament’s history.
John McAuley: How Al Jazira can stop Real Madrid at Club World Cup
“Nothing is easy, especially in football,” Marcelo said. “I’ve played in two Club World Cups and won them both, but it was difficult. Nothing comes easy at Madrid. I’ve been here for many years and everything’s been tough. We’ve won a lot of titles, but we’ve had to work for it.”
Asked about the possibility of facing compatriots Gremio in the final, he added: “I’m proud of the fact that a Brazilian side made it to the final of the [Copa] Libertadores, which is a very difficult competition, and that they made it to the Club World Cup too. Playing Gremio in the final would be really exciting. That would be amazing.”
- Subscribe to iTunes to download all of The National's Extra Time podcasts
Updated: December 12, 2017 11:16 PM