2 days from now, the reigning European champions go one-on-one with the reigning Copa Libertadores champions, Real Madrid face San Lorenzo in the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup final. A final between 2 teams that won their confederation’s highest honor (Champions League and Copa Libertadores) might seem like a fair and even match-up, however when you look at form, squad, circumstances, and resources, you know that Ancelotti’s men are the overwhelming favourites. In terms of form, no team in the world at the moment has better form than Real Madrid, who have won an incredible 21 out of their last 21 matches in all competitions. They have also scored 79 goals in that winning run with an average of 3.76 goals per match. If that wasn’t enough, their defensive acumen is also on point with just 10 goals conceded during that stretch (average of 0.48 goals per game).
In normal, equal, circumstances Real Madrid would be the great favourites, however in a scenario that benefits Real so much Ancelotti might as well have written it, San Lorenzo will contest the final with a day less rest and after playing a grueling 2-hour match with a game Auckland City. San Lorenzo had to go the full 120 minutes to defeat Auckland City in a fast-paced match that definitely sapped their energy levels as players from both teams looked visibly exhausted in the last 20-30 minutes of the match. Now compare that to Real Madrid, who won their match with a comfortable 4-0 score-line and had the pleasant opportunity to rest players such as Ramos, Kroos, and Isco. Indeed, the safe bet in this match will definitely be last season’s Champions League winners.
If the title itself wasn’t enough, there are some aspects of the match that could be enticing for Carlo Ancelotti, who is hoping to cement his name in the club’s history books. Ancelotti will be hoping to be the first coach in Los Blancos history to win 4 titles in a calendar year, in addition to being the fastest coach ever to reach 70 wins in all competitions with the club (currently has 69 wins from 87 matches). The Italian ‘mister’ will also to be the first coach n the clubs history to win the Club World Cup while also eyeing the score-line as he hopes to be the quickest Real Madrid coach ever to reach 250 goals in all competitions. Indeed it does seem that there is a lot at stake for the veteran Italian coach.
Real Madrid have all the players available except for Luka Modric for the final, as Carlo Ancelotti has said that both Khedira and James are ready to play (if needed). While Ramos who was subbed as a precaution in the semi-final did not even have to get tests and ensured everyone that he would be ready to play. It is expected that Ancelotti will field the same line-up of the semi-final with the only doubt being if James will be fit enough to actually start a match or not (in Illarra’s place).
Pre-Match Real Madrid Stats
- Real Madrid have won 36 of the 65 one-legged finals they have played in history.
- The capital club is on a 21-match winning streak.
- Real Madrid have never won the FIFA Club World Cup before.
- Real Madrid have won 7 of their last 9 matches on neutral grounds.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (3 assists) is just 2 assists short of becoming the all-time assists leader in the competition’s history.
- Real Madrid have scored 33 goals in their last 10 matches away from home.
- 12 of Real Madrid’s 21 wins in their current winning run have come away from home.
- Cristiano Ronaldo could become the first European player ever to score in 2 different editions of the CWC.
- Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the top scorer (32 goals) and assister (12 assists) in the squad in 2014/15.
- If Real Madrid win it will be the first time ever that the club has won 4 titles in 1 calendar year (3 titles in 1989 and 2002).
- The 2014 CWC could be the 79th title in the club’s history.
- Real Madrid have scored 2+ goals in 8 of their last 10 matches on neutral grounds.
- The very last time Real Madrid faced an Argentinian club in a competitive match was the 2000 Intercontinental Cup final where they lost 2-1 to Boca Juniors.
- 6 of the last 7 editions of the CWC have witnessed a UEFA club as champions.
- Real Madrid are 3 goals away from their 90th goal in all competitions this season.
- Cristiano alone has scored more goals (32) than the entire San Lorenzo squad this season (31).
- Real Madrid have scored more goals in their last 9 matches (32) than San Lorenzo in this entire season (31).
- If Cristiano scores in the final, San Lorenzo will be the 52nd team he has scored against since joining Real Madrid.
- Stade de Marrakech could become the 94th different stadium that Cristiano has scored at in his career.
- Cristiano has scored vs. 17 of the 19 teams he has faced so far this season with Real Madrid.
- If Real Madrid win the final, Carlo Ancelotti will join a list of 5 managers who have won at least 4 titles with Real Madrid.
- Real Madrid have scored in each of their last 24 matches in all competitions.
- Real Madrid have scored 12 goals and conceded just 2 in their last 4 matches on neutral grounds.
- Real Madrid have lost just 2 of their last 10 matches on neutral grounds.
Pre-Match San Lorenzo Stats
- San Lorenzo are currently on a 3-match winning streak.
- San Lorenzo is the 3rd club from Argentina to reach the CWC final.
- No Argentinian club has ever won the CWC.
- San Lorenzo has won as many matches as they have lost this season (10 each).
- San Lorenzo average 1.41 goals per match this season, compared to 3.22 goals per match by Real Madrid.
- San Lorenzo have managed to keep just 3 clean sheets in their 11 matches away from home this season.
- San Lorenzo have won just 2 of their last 6 matches away from home.
- San Lorenzo have kept just 2 clean sheets in their last 8 matches away from home.
- San Lorenzo conceded (on average) more than 1 goal per game so far this season (25 goals in 22 matches).
- San Lorenzo have scored more than 2 goals in just 2 of their last 13 matches.
- San Lorenzo currently sit 8th in the Argentinian league.
- Away from home this season, San Lorenzo have lost more matches than they have won.
- San Lorenzo have a win percentage of 45% this season, compared to Real Madrid’s 85%.
- San Lorenzo have kept a clean sheet in 36% of their matches this season, compared to Real Madrid’s 52%.
- San Lorenze have a negative goal difference away from this season (-1).