Club World Cup is as big as Champions League – Pepe

The defender accepts his side are favourites for the competition but is determined not to become complacent in order to end 2014 with another trophy

Real Madrid defender Pepe claims the Club World Cup is as prestigious a competition as the Champions League.

The reigning European champions take on Cruz Azul on Tuesday in their semi-final clash in Morocco as they look to finish 2014 with another trophy.

Despite Madrid being overwhelming favourites to triumph in the tournament, Pepe insists his side will approach the clash with the utmost respect as they aim to be crowned the best in the world.

“Madrid players have a lot of quality, we all work together. We have all the ingredients for a good game and a good Club World Cup,” he told a press conference.

“We’ll go out on to the pitch with a lot of humility and we will respect our opponents.

“We’re going to face the competition with the utmost enthusiasm. It has the same importance as the Champions League – the winner is the best club in the world.

“We want to finish the year well and bring joy to the fans.

“Because of our history, we start as favourites. We face this competition seriously.”

Madrid’s clash was moved to Marrakech following significant rain fall in Rabat over recent days, although Carlo Ancelotti told Goal that the club had no say in Fifa’s decision.

And Pepe, who says the team were in a training session when they were told the news, is eager to see a better game as a result of the relocation.

“We were training when we heard the news. The important thing is to have a good game between the two teams,” he added.

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