Real Madrid legend Emilio Butragueno is looking forward to the Peace Cup and told Goal.com that he thinks that the Spanish giants can win the tournament.
In an exclusive interview, he explained that while every team entering will want to prove something, both Los Merengues and Juventus will be considered the favourites.
Goal.com: Emilio, Real Madrid's first opponents in the Peace Cup will be Liga de Quito. How do you see the Ecuadorians?
Emilio Butragueño: The team has performed marvellously in their country and have won the Copa Libertadores de America too, although that was two years ago while this year they went out in the first round. But in any case, Liga de Quito have made great progress in recent years, that is clear. I know that they changed their system of management a few years ago and that he improved things a lot. By the simple fact that they won the Libertaodres recently, they deserve respect. In Ecuador they are currently going for the title, like they have done a lot in the last few years, and they know how to win so they will go into the Peace Cup to win.
Goal.com: The fact that Liga de Quito are competing in the Peace Cup can only be good news for the Ecuadorian community living in Spain.
EB: Of course and I am sure we will see a lot of Ecuadorians in the stands. I hope that is the case, but I also hope that it is does not make them feel like the home team (laughs).
Goal.com: Real Madrid playing like the away team in the Bernabeu. That would be incredible.
EB: It may not happen, but it could well be that there will be a huge number of Ecuadorian fans going to the game. When the Ecuador national team played in Madrid it was spectacular and the stadium was full for the friendly against Colombia and I am sure that the same fans will not want to miss the Peace Cup match against Real Madrid. All I can ask is that our fans quikly buy some tickets too.
Goal.com: What do you think about Liga de Quito as a team?
EB: I know that they have had some big changes, like the defeat against manchester United in the Club World Cup last year. But in football these days you cannot make predictions, as Spain's results in the Confederations Cup have shown, There are no easy opponents.
Goal.com: Talking about Real Madrid's other opponents in the first round, what do you know about Al Ittihad?
EB: They are a club with a grand tradition in Arabian football as they were founded in 1928. They are one of the biggest clubs in Arabia and played in the Club World Cup in 2005. It will also be great for them to come here an show everyone what they are capable of and to prove that they can take on European teams on level terms, which is something that they do not often have the chance to do. We have great respect for Al Ittihad, just like we do for Liga de Quito.
Goal.com: What about Real Madrid? They will be the new players, like Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul Albiol playing for the first time in front of the home fans. How do you think the team will do?
EB: We are at home and we have great expectations. We think that we can win the tournament and we will go out thinking that in every game. We will do all we can so that we are in teh final I cannot speak about failing, because otherwise we should not play. I preder to think that we will do well and try to become the winners of the Peace Cup when it is held in Spain for the first time.
Goal.com: Do you think Juventus will be one of the teams to watch?
EB: They have history behind them, no? Juve will always be Juve. There are a number of teams that have a winning spirit built in and Juventus are one of them. We know all about that having played them in the Champions League on several occasions.
Goal.com: They will be one of the team to beat then.
EB: Certainly. I think that games between Madrid and Juve are a bit like games between Madrid and Barcelona, in that it will all depend on certain moments because there will always be the competitive spirit. I am sure that they will want to win the Peace Cup.
Lucas Brown, Goal.com
Official Peace Cup website