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Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid fully focused on Club World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo scored this acrobatic header in Real Madrid's training session ahead of their Club World Cup semifinal tie against Al Jazira.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side would not underestimate Club World Cup semifinal opponents Al Jazira when the sides meet in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Al Jazira have defeated New Zealand's Auckland City and Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan to reach the last four.

And after Kashima Antlers reached last year's final and almost shocked Madrid, Zidane said his players would heed that warning.

Speaking at his prematch news conference, he said: "We know there are no easy games.

"This is a semifinal against an opponent everyone is saying will be easy to overcome, but if we thought that we would be making a mistake. We saw that last year against Kashima.

"When playing against Real Madrid, everybody tries to play their best game and anything could happen."

Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane took part in Tuesday's training session and are available for selection, Zidane said, although both are more likely to be substitutes.

"We will see if they play," he added. "They have trained well Monday and today. I am happy to have everyone available. That is the most important for a coach."

Zidane stressed that neither the thought of next month's Clasico against Barcelona nor next year's Champions League challenge against Paris Saint-Germain would distract Madrid.

"This is a competition we want to win, and we will give our all," he said. "We are thinking of this competition and nothing else. We are not thinking about La Liga or anything else."

However, he added confirmation that a red card in Abu Dhabi could rule a Madrid player out of the Clasico "could influence our thinking."

"They are different competitions, so it seems strange to me that it happens," he said. "But I think positively and I believe we will all be able to play against Barcelona.

"It is strange, but we accept it as we cannot do anything about it."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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