'Real Madrid are not in good form' – Berg hoping Al Ain take their Club World Cup chance
Posted On March 22, 2019
The Swedish striker is looking forward to testing himself against Sergio Ramos and the current holders of the Champions League crown
Real Madrid may have successfully navigated their way to another Club World Cup final, but Al Ain striker Marcus Berg is hopeful of taking advantage of the Liga side’s struggles this season.
Madrid are on their second coach of the campaign, having sacked Julen Lopetegui after a disastrous start to the season, though their fortunes have somewhat changed for the better under Santiago Solari.
Indeed, a hat-trick from Gareth Bale steered Los Blancos past Japanese champions Kawashima Antlers to book their place in the final – the Welsh winger becoming just the third player to achieve that feat after Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.
But while Al Ain go into the clash as clear underdogs, Sweden frontman Berg says that the side from the UAE will be giving their all to cause an upset during a trying time for the European champions.
“Compared to the last few years, Real Madrid are not in their best form,” Berg told Goal. “We’ll go into the final and give maximum effort, even if they are still the big favourites.”
Berg also took time to praise Sergio Ramos, whom the striker feels is often able to push himself to his defensive limits for the benefit of his team – even if sometimes he takes things a little too far.
“He is a fantastic player,” the striker said. “Sometimes he might pick up a red card, but mostly he is right on the edge. As a defender and a player it’s smart to stay that level, if it is it a bit risky.”
Having seen themselves dump out Team Wellington, Esperance de Tunis and River Plate, Al Ain kick off against Real Madrid at 8:30 local UAE time (4:30pm UK).
Keeping Bale quiet while trying to trouble Ramos will be just two of the challenges they face when taking to the field on Saturday.
The Blancos boast all of the pedigree, having tasted Club World Cup glory in the last two seasons.
They are now looking to complete a notable hat-trick, having already achieved that feat in Champions League competition last season.
Berg and Co will have something to say about that though.
The Swede has already netted twice in Al Ain’s campaign so far, with the most recent of those strikes helping them to stun Copa Libertadores winners River Plate in a thrilling semi-final which was settled in a penalty shootout.