The Kashima Antlers beat Columbia’s Atletico Nacional 3-0 in their Club World Cup semi-final. And the victory was seen as a jolly ride for this Japanese side which are set to play against Zinedine Zidane’s squad.
As the first Asian club to ever play in the Club World Cup finals, Kashima are taking every possible risk to ease themselves past Real Madrid in Sunday’s final game.
The Japanese club side was busted spying on Real Madrid players. Media reports also confirm the team have gathered on the stands to analyse Zizou’s tactics as his men played against Club America.
Kashimaqualified for the finals after beating the Copa Libertadores winners Atletico Nacional, Auckland City (2-1) and Mamelodi Sundowns (2-0).
Meanwhile, officials from the Yokohama International Stadium which will host today’s match between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers say “the pitch must remain untouched to preserve its quality.”
Madrid has therefore not set foot on the stadium, and will not do so until it’s time for the match.
Both Los Blancos and Kashima Antlers have been allowed to train at the Yokohama Mitsuzawa Stadium.
Image: Yokohama International Stadium
According to a report from Marca, the ban on Madrid and Kashima is aimed at ensuring that the pitch remains at a good quality during the finals. It is also a precaution that FIFA applied before Real’s semi-final clash with Club America.
However, Atletico Nacional and Club America will play their third-place game on the same pitch just a few hours before the final match. And this has raised concerns on if the venue will remain as hoped.