'Marcelo is excellent but Ramos makes Real Madrid tick' - Al Ain star aware of Club World Cup final threats

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Caio is looking forward to looking horns with fellow Brazilians in Saturday's showpiece, with the Abu Dhabi-based club eyeing an upset on home soil

Al Ain are hoping to secure the notable scalp of Real Madrid in the Club World Cup final, but Caio is aware that the likes of Marcelo and Sergio Ramos pose a serious threat to their chances.

The Blancos, who saw a Gareth Bale hat-trick fire them past Kashima Antlers at the semi-final stage, are chasing down a third successive global crown.

Santiago Solari’s side are heavy favourites to make that a reality, with a star-studded squad expected to have too much for Abu Dhabi-based foes on their home soil.

Caio concedes as much, but the Al Ain midfielder is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with illustrious countrymen and some of the finest players on the planet.

The Brazilian told Goal: “I think I will have to face Marcelo because I play on the right wing. I am looking forward to seeing him, to talking with him and hugging my compatriot – the same with Vinicius and Casemiro. Marcelo is excellent.”

While being a ban fan of a fellow countryman, Caio believes it is a talismanic skipper that makes Madrid tick and makes Al Ain’s task all the more difficult.

He added: “If I could remove one Real player from the match who would it be? Sergio Ramos. He is a great defender, he is always well placed, helps his team and is a leader. Without Ramos it would be easier for us.”

Al Ain have already pulled off one shock in the 2018 staging of the Club World Cup.

Caio Al Ain

Newly-crowned Copa Libertadores winners River Plate were edged out on penalties in the last four to set up a date with Real.

Caio admits they are now massive underdogs against the champions of Europe, but claims that is providing added motivation for a side determined to hold their own.

“It was special and gratifying to play against champions like River Plate and we're really happy after a victory and to play in the final,” he said.

“River Plate is a strong team and they came back after our first goal but we also made an extra effort. I'm happy with my goal to help my team to win.

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“We don't have a secret, only to give our best. It's clear for us that we have to leave the pitch having given our all and this could be the only advantage for us. It is true that our fans are supporting us and it is also motivation that all the people think Al Ain won't win.

“We have played three consecutive matches and we're tired but I expect to be recovered before the final. We had time to rest and to be with our families, to think about other things and not about football and we're focused on the final.”

Al Ain and Real Madrid will battle in out for major silverware at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on Saturday. 

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