Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 April 2019

Santiago Solari vows Real Madrid will not use 'wrong tools' against Al Ain in Fifa Club World Cup final

Argentine believes River Plate got their tactics wrong against the Arabian Gulf League side but the European champions will not make the same mistake on Saturday in Abu Dhabi

Santiago Solari admitted to some nerves on Friday as Real Madrid prepare to face Al Ain in the Fifa Club World Cup. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Santiago Solari admitted to some nerves on Friday as Real Madrid prepare to face Al Ain in the Fifa Club World Cup. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has said he is confident his side will not use the "wrong tools" when they face Al Ain in the Fifa Club World Cup final on Saturday.

The Arabian Gulf League champions shocked River Plate in the semi-finals on Tuesday, winning on penalties after a 2-2 draw, to secure their spot in the final at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

Argentine Solari believes River Plate had made mistakes against Al Ain and said that the European champions would be much more aware of what to expect.

Appearing to raise a question on Al Ain's physicality, with Zoran Mamic's side giving away 21 fouls against River Plate (although the Copa Libertadores side were also penalised 20 times), he said on Friday: “River used the wrong tools against Al Ain and they took advantage of it.

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“It is not unusual for a team to make full use of the tools and sometimes try to hide it from the referee. We will do our most to prevent that from happening when we face them in the final."

Solari said he was impressed with Al Ain but was confident his side would know how to handle their threat when the action begins at 8.30pm at Zayed Sports City on Saturday night.

“I know Al Ain are going to play the way they are doing it," he said. "They are very solid on defence and trying to take advantage of their players speed on attack. They will also look to take advantage of dead-ball situations."

Solari who said he had a full squad to pick from said he admitted there were some nerves as the club bid for a historic fourth Club World Cup crown and third in a row.

“We are all very happy, motivated and focus on the final,” said Solari. “I can also say we are a little bit nervous even though we have a lot of experience in this tournament. But of course we want to play to win.”

Real Madrid have struggled at times this season, with Solari coming in as manager in October to replace the fired Julen Lopetegui.

Solari believes the side's recent successes in the Club World Cup, and also in the Uefa Champions League, which they won for a third time in a row, and fourth time in five years, in May against Liverpool, has been taken for granted somewhat.

“Since we have repeating the success maybe people are not giving attention to what we have achieved recently," he said.

“Four Champions League wins, three Club World Cup titles. Whatever the team has achieved up to now is extraordinary. If Real Madrid have won so many titles, then it is because they are giving 100 per cent on and off the pitch.”

Updated: December 22, 2018 08:51 AM

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