The 2016 FIFA Club World Cup Final pits Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid Club de Fútbol of Madrid, Spain against Masatada Ishii’s Kashima Antlers of Kashima, Japan at the International Stadium Yokohama for the right to be named world champion for the 2016 calendar year on Dec. 18.
“Even in friendly games and in training [Cristiano Ronaldo] is highly motivated,” said Zidane. “Ronaldo is a very motivated player. There are many players in the world and it is very rare that one player can win so many awards. Winning a fourth Ballon d’Or is not something that you can achieve easily. What he is doing now is wonderful, and maybe he deserves a fifth Ballon d’Or. The hardest thing is the distance and the jet lag, because it’s a long way to Japan. Physically it will be difficult so we need to get up to speed, but we’ve been here for two days and I think we are ready. We are Real Madrid and we will always be Real Madrid. We are focused on the next match and that is our mission.”
“It doesn’t matter who we play. We haven’t won anything yet,” Kashima’s Daigo Nishi said. “But I think it’s fitting Kashima Antlers were the first Asian team to get to the final.”
“I know there are a lot of Real fans in Japan, but I hope they will be rooting for Kashima because we will be playing for the entire country,” Antlers trigger man Shoma Doi said.
Our live blog starts at 12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET and features a recap the opener, the third place game between Club America of Mexico City, Mexico and Atletico Nacional of Medellin, Colombia. Kickoff for our main match is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. ET. Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.