CLUB WORLD CUP
More than just a trophy at stake for Real Madrid in Yokohama
Real Madrid take on Kashima Antlers in Sunday's final with a number of things in play apart from the Cup - prestige, club records and a cash windfall.Venezuela-England live online: Final World Cup U20
Apart from the thrill of lifting the trophy for the second time (in it current format...), Real Madrid have a number of other incentives to go for the Club World Cup in Sunday's final against Kashima Antlers. Victory in Yokohama would signify several things for the Spanish side - both sporting and economic.
Madrid will be looking to close 2016 with their third international triumph. This year they lifted the Champions League (last season, against Atlético), beat Sevilla to win the UEFA Super Cup and now contest the Club World Cup final. A calendar year treble of sorts is up for grabs, an alternative to the traditional LaLiga, Copa and Champions League in the same season treble, but still....
Madrid are the reigning European champions, but no one can say it wouldn't be nice to be crowned world champions too. It's a title which Los Blancos will be contesting for the fifth time (they won the Intercontinental-Toyota Cup three times and won the tournament in its current format once - against San Lorenzo in Morocco two years ago). It will be Madrid's seventh time in the final - they lost to Peñarol in 1966 and Boca Juniors in 2000.
Zidane's Madrid recently beat Leo Beenhakker's unbeaten run, now they have Fabio Capello's club record in sight. Under the Italian, Madrid started the 1996-1997 season with an unbeaten run stretching 25 games. Zizou equalled that with the semi-final win over América (18 victories and seven draws) and his team will be aiming to go 26 games without defeat tomorrow.
Winner as a player and as a coach
Zinedine Zidane, who was part of the Madrid side who beat Olimpia to lift the trophy in 2002, has the opportunity to become the fourth person to win the Club World Cup/Intercontinental Cup both as a player and as a manger. Others who have done so are Luis Cubilla (Olimpia), Juan Mujica (Nacional) and Carlo Ancelotti (AC Milan and Real Madrid)
Aside from sporting incentives, there will be an economic one. Winning the Club World Cup would allow the to victors to receive a substantial windfall - a cash prize of 4,784,025 euros - almost five million for winning two matches.