'Violent Pepe worries San Lorenzo'

The Argentine club’s president, Matias Lammens, suggested that the Portuguese centre-back plays with a rougher style than his side will against los Blancos

San Lorenzo president Matias Lammens has reacted to comments that his side will be overly physical when they meet Real Madrid in the Club World Cup final by suggesting it is his team who should be worried about coming up against Pepe.

The Argentine side needed extra time to book their place in the showpiece event with a 2-1 win over Auckland City, while los Blancos came through much more comfortably, dispatching of Cruz Azul 4-0. The pair will now meet at the Grande Stade de Marrakech on Saturday to compete for the title.

Ahead of the game, the president of the 2014 Copa Libertadores winners brushed off claims that his side will play a rough game against Carlo Ancelotti’s men, instead suggesting that it is his side that need to worry about Madrid’s Portuguese defender.

“I do not think it will be violent, neither of the two teams need to worry,” Lammens said to reporters. “In any case, it is San Lorenzo who should be worried about Pepe!”

The club chief also revealed the contrasting thoughts between the two clubs over who should referee their meeting, admitting that he would like to see an official who hails from South America.

“We feel that it would be better to have a referee of another continent that is neither Europe nor South America,” Lammens told reporters following San Lorenzo’s semi-final victory.

“Real Madrid’s favourite is the Portuguese, Pedro Proenca. For us, the Chilean Enrique Osses would be fine, so maybe it’d better be one from another continent. An African referee would be fine.

“How about the weight of Real Madrid with Fifa for that decision? South America also has an important influence on Fifa.

“But in lobby terms, perhaps Real Madrid surpass us. But all the requests should be addressed equally. It would be wrong to hear only the requests of the most powerful ever.”

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