'We must face Real Madrid with the knife between our teeth'

EXCLUSIVE: San Lorenzo's Leandro Romagnoli is looking forward to testing himself against Cristiano Ronaldo and the European champions in the Club World Cup final
By Alberto Pinero in Marrakech

San Lorenzo will approach their Club World Cup final clash with Real Madrid "with the knife between our teeth", according to Leandro Romagnoli.

The European champions, who dispatched Cruz Azul 4-0 in their semi-final clash, will face San Lorenzo in the final of the tournament in Morocco after the Argentines defeated Auckland City 2-1 after extra-time.

Romagnoli admits his side suffered in their last-four encounter and is hoping his side can take advantage should Madrid struggle under the weight of expectation on Saturday.

"When you're favourites, it's not that it becomes more difficult, but it can be more complicated. The team has to push out more, control the ball, and the other team plays more relaxed," the 33-year-old told Goal.

"Real Madrid are favourites in the final and I think we have to try to play short, compact, and not commit too many errors. It will be a complicated game for us.

"Every game is different but the important thing is we don't make mistakes, and that we take advantage of however many chances we have. We have to play, as we say in Argentina, 'with the knife between our teeth' - not maliciously, but giving everything."

Earlier in his career, Romagnoli played for Sporting Lisbon - shortly after Cristiano Ronaldo had left the club to join Manchester United.

And while the attacking midfielder admits it would be easier to face Madrid without the current Ballon d'Or holder, he believes it will be a bigger satisfaction to defeat Carlo Ancelotti's strongest possible side.

When asked which player he would like to remove from Madrid's team, he said: "Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the figurehead for them, he is a great player. But if he plays, it's better. We have to try to win against the best."