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Real Madrid favourites as key players return from injury

19 December 2017

They have also equalled Spanish rivals Barcelona as the most successful club in the tournament which, has been running since 2005.

Their opponents, the Brazilian side Gremio, will hope to put a stick iin Real's spokes however, with players aware of the significance of the match.

Over the past week, Ronaldo has won the Club World Cup and been awarded the 2017 Ballon d'Or.

Bale scored the victor as defending champions Real beat Al Jazira 2-1 in Wednesday's semi-final.

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Al Jazira's thrilling run in this year's tournament has engrossed the country, and although their chances of reaching the final came to an end at the semi-final stage, the capacity crowd and millions watching around the world would have been left in no doubt that this has been a defining moment for UAE sport and for football fans in all corners of the nation.

Gremio boss Renato Gaucho, meanwhile, will need to ensure than his charges are far more clinical in front of goal than they were in their last-four clash with Mexican outfit Pachuca.

The Spanish giants are the overwhelming favourites to land their third Club World Cup, but Luan has insisted that his team have "the quality to take on Madrid". Previously, Internacional beat Barcelona 1-0 in 2006, but the Catalans got their own back five years later, resoundingly defeating Santos 4-0.

Real Madrid will now turn their focus back to domestic matters where things haven't been going so well.

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Real Madrid have, in fact, played a team from Brazil once before in the tournament: they drew 2-2 with Corinthians in the inaugural edition in 2000.

"I'm familiar with Gremio because I've watched quite a lot of their matches, but I'm not too sure of the level of the Brazilian League right now".

"We have to enjoy today, the balance is good and we must continue in this manner". The number of trophies we've won can't be erased.

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Real Madrid favourites as key players return from injury