Just one month from now, on December 19, Real Madrid will open their Club World Cup campaign against either Japan’s Kashima Antlers or Mexico’s Guadalajara and will hope to appear in the final on December 22.
Real Madrid were champions in 2016 and 2017 and have been clear dominators in a competition that succeeded the legendary Intercontinental Cup, with six titles in total, which is two more than next-best AC Milan.
A third consecutive title would go nicely with the three straight Champions League crowns won by Los Blancos and the European champions have no plans to remove the world champions’ badge that they have worn on their shirt since December of 2016.
For now, though, the badge is another story and what is of immediate concern is that Real Madrid are just a month away from Abu Dhabi and do not know what they will come up against.
After Julen Lopetegui‘s departure, Santiago Solari‘s main plan has been to have the squad in a position to be at their physical best at the Club World Cup and, as MARCA reported on November 9, one of the reasons believed to be behind the poor start was their poor physical condition.
As a result, a workout plan was drawn up in order to progressively improve the condition of the squad and the Club World Cup was the first and most immediate objective in sight.
Next up is the Champions League knockout rounds, which is keeping fitness coach Antonio Pintus busy.
It is clear that the team has improved under Solari so far and they have taken on a more aggressive and direct style of play, although it is still too early to praise Pintus‘ work.
The Club World Cup will be the first test of his success and Real Madrid are extra hungry after their UEFA Super Cup failure against Atletico Madrid.
Los Blancos are a title-winning machine and they need to feed that hunger for trophies regularly and the closest, and possibly simplest to win, is just around the corner.