15.12.2014 » Real Madrid are on the chase of their first FIFA Club World Cup title
The reigning European champions Real Madrid, are about to represent the Old Continent in this week's FIFA Club World Cup tournament, as they'll be taking center stage right this Tuesday, in the first semi-finals clash where they're set to meet Cruz Azul. Despite being the most successful club in the UEFA Champions League (Europe's prime competition) with 10 trophies conquered so far, this will only be the second time Real Madrid actually has an opportunity to participate in this revamped tournament. The Merengues debuted in the FIFA Club World Cup first edition back in 2000, but ended up falling precisely on this first semi-finals stage. This time however, all indications seem to suggest that their fate could be very different, as they arrive to Morocco holding a 20-game winning streak and led by a tenacious Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid - FIFA Club World Cup, Morocco 2014:
Carlo Ancelotti has summoned a 22-man convoy for Real Madrid's semi-finals match against Cruz Azul, in a list that already includes James Rodríguez. The playmaker has picked up an injury earlier this month against Celta de Vigo and hasn't seen any action since then. He completed the Merengues' last training session in Spanish soil before this Sunday's flight to Morocco, but he has done it by working out on his own. Nevertheless, Ancelotti calling him up may have been a good sign that the Colombian is about to be declared fit and still in time to give his contribution in Real Madrid's campaign at the FIFA Club World Cup. Modric on the other hand, is not on the squad list and he's only expected to return to competition by late January or February.
This Tuesday, Real Madrid will clash against an highly motivated Cruz Azul, who have only gone through the previous round after a wearing extra-time period against the Western Sydney Wanderers. The Mexican side scored a dramatic equalizer just one minute before the end of regular time, and then needed an additional 30-minute period to secure their much-wanted spot in the tournament's semi-final. In Marrakech, they'll be up against what many believe to be one of the strongest teams in football that we've seen over the last decades.
Real Madrid 22-men squad-list for the match against Cruz Azul:
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Navas, Pacheco.
Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Fábio Coentrão, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Nacho.
Midfielders: Khedira, Kroos, James, Isco, Illarramendi.
Attackers: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Chicharito, Jesé, Medrán.
Real Madrid arrived to Morocco this past Sunday, after already knowing that both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had lost points in the Spanish League title race. Their main rivals in Spain have therefore missed a great opportunity to reduce the gap to the Merengues during this FIFA Club World Cup period and put more pressure on Ancelotti's men when they get back. However, it will be Barcelona who will surely regret it more, since their 0-0 draw last Saturday against Getafe has made it impossible for them to still aspire finishing the year on the top of La Liga.
Now behind a 20-game winning streak and only 4 games away from reaching the world-record mark, Real Madrid are not likely at all to be taking this Cruz Azul side lightly. On the line are going to be not only the possibility of breaking that record, but also the chance of bringing home the FIFA Club World Cup trophy for the first time in the club's history. Cristiano Ronaldo is naturally the team's main hope to deliver the much-needed goals and he has been in unstoppable form in La Liga this season, where he already scored 25 goals in 14 appearances.
Meanwhile and in the other semi-finals of the tournament, San Lorenzo from Argentina will lock horns with Auckland City FC from New Zealand. This match will go down on Wednesday and the winner will also earn a ticket for the FIFA Club World Cup final, scheduled for next Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game will be in Morocco, on the FIFA Club World Cup semi finals against either Cruz Azul, next Tuesday (December 16). You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs Cruz Azul, Barcelona vs Huesca, Derby County vs Chelsea, Sheffield vs Southampton, and Bayern Munich vs Freiburg, all matches provided from our live streaming game pages.
Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Cruz Azul kick-off time (16-12-2014):
Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+6: 01:30
Spain (Madrid) | GMT+1: 20:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 19:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-4: 15:30
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 14:30
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8 11:30
Beijing (China) | GMT+7: 02:30
Sources: ronaldo7.net / realmadrid.com / foxsports.com / fifa.com / fcbarcelona.com