The final of the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. It's a big game in a curious region, where money from petrol and gas has allowed the construction of extremely comfortable cities in the middle of the desert, and where football is a means to present the area and form better relations with other parts of the world. Football is today's Esperanto. The World Cup in Qatar - close to Abu Dhabi - is growing closer. For the moment we have the Club World Cup, perhaps the last one with this format. If Real Madrid win, it will be a record-breaking fifth title of the season. Their opponents will be Gremio of Porto Alegre, the champions of the Copa Libertadores.
Gremio will provide a stern test
The team from the south of Brazil has always maintained a distance from the 'jogo bonito' style of play. The team's state - Río Grande do Sul - borders Uruguay, and they share a lot of customs. Football is no exception. Gremio play in a more battling way than how we generally identify Brazilian football. Roger Machado tried to change that a couple of years ago, in search of a more artistic model. His successor - Renato Gaucho - has continued on the same path. But having seen Gremio's semi-final against Pachuca, there is still a little way to go. Above all, that was a brave performance. Madrid have been warned... They will not face an easy game.
Real Madrid will win if they stay tight
Sergio Ramos will play despite not being at 100%. If this wasn't the final, perhaps he wouldn't be risked. But a final is what it is, and we saw in the last match that Madrid can be careless against counter-attacking teams. They should batten down the hatches. It is assumed that Gareth Bale will be saved for the last 30 minutes, and hopefully his performance will compare with those against Fuenlabrada and Al Jazira. The same line-up that played in the Champions League final in Cardiff is expected, and after the fright against Al Jazira, the players will be aware that they cannot afford any lapses in concentration. The better team almost always wins, but only if they are tight and avoid mistakes. If they manage that, Madrid will surely lift their fifth title of 2017.