‘San Lorenzo must be congratulated’

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos sarcastically acknowledged San Lorenzo's alleged influence over the choice of referee ahead of tonight's Club World Cup final.

The Argentine outfit are believed to have requested a neutral match official for the tournament decider in Marrakech, a claim substantiated by the appointment of Guatemalan Walter Lopez, and the defender was not impressed by the reported conduct of Los Blancos' forthcoming opponents.

"I've been feeling optimistic and quite good. I like to go step by step and match by match. It's a final I've never played in, so there is added motivation," Ramos told reporters at a Press conference.

"If there is the risk of something serious then we'll see what sensations I contract in training.

"Toni [Kroos] is a player I admire for his quality and contribution to the team. He's very important to our functionality, and we're always communicating with each other, even if my English isn't 10/10.

"In the dressing room we are indifferent, and [the change in ref] will neither benefit nor harm us. If they are more comfortable with the new referee then we congratulate them.

"I'm not going to create controversy, but we'll see who gets the title and plays the better football. That's the best way to set aside any statements from players or Presidents.

"Anyone can think what they like, this is a democratic country. There is much talk of Pepe, but any team would like to have him in their squad.

"Football is a sport and, while you should not play with malice, it's for the strong. Pepe is one of them."

Tags Club World Cup San Lorenzo Sergio Ramos