Cruz Azul aim to spring a ‘surprise’ on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid
Cruz Azul coach Luis Fernando Tena hopes to come up with a game plan to end Real Madrid’s club record 20-match winning run when the two sides meet in Marrakech today.
The Mexican outfit beat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 in extra time on Saturday to set up a Club World Cup semi-final with the European champions.
“They are the favourites,” Tena said. “But in football, you have surprises. We need to analyse our opponents well and plan a game against the best team in the world.”
Cruz Azul face a Madrid team who have scored 23 goals in their last seven matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 32 goals in 23 matches in all competitions and has won the Club World Cup before with Manchester United, will lead the Spaniards’ attack.
“They have a fantastic squad,” Cruz Azul defender Julio Dominguez said. “They have Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale – to be honest, all of them are excellent players.
“But they will also have to take into account that we also play and we will be no pushovers.”
The Concacaf Champions League winners will be relieved that the game, which was originally set to be played in Rabat, has been moved to Marrakech after heavy rain left the pitch at the Prince Moulay Abdellah stadium in poor condition.
“Our first game was affected by the state of the pitch because of the rain,” Dominguez said. “But, despite the adversity, we managed to win.”
The European champions head into their first game in Morocco full of confidence.
Real have won the Uefa Champions League, Copa del Rey and the European Super Cup this year, but they have never won the Club World Cup.
“It’s a vital competition, different, and we are going to try to give joy to our people,” Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas said. “I hope that in a few days’ time we can lift a new trophy for us, for Madrid and our fans.”
Published: December 15, 2014 04:00 AM