Real Madrid capped off another memorable year by claiming a third successive FIFA Club World Cup title, defeating host team Al Ain 4-1 at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium.
The best FIFA Men’s player 2018 Luka Modric opened the scoring on 14 minutes for the UEFA Champions League winners, before Marcos Llorente doubled the advantage on the hour-mark.
Skipper Sergio Ramos then made it three on 79 minutes as Los Blancos secured their fourth Club World Cup crown, with an own goal – after strong work from Vinicius Jr. – reaffirming Real’s three-goal lead after a superb header from Tsukasa Shiotani.
Los Blancos applied early pressure but they nearly went a goal down when Hussein Elshahat latched onto the end of Marcelo’s misplaced header and cut into the area before getting his shot off – only to be denied by a stunning block from skipper Sergio Ramos.
Just one minute later, though, the holders were in front when Karim Benzema played the ball back to Luka Modric on the edge of the ‘D’ and the Croatia star curled the ball into the bottom corner. Moments after Real were celebrating their opener, Al Ain had the ball in the back of the net but Caio’s effort was flagged for offside.
Santiago Solari’s side doubled their lead on the hour mark when the ball fell to Marcos Llorente after a corner, and goalkeeper Khalid Eisa was powerless to stop the midfielder’s stunning strike from finding the bottom corner.
Sergio Ramos recorded Real’s third, powering a header past Eisa after a corner, before Shiotani headed a consolation goal for the host team after Caio’s free-kick. Yahia Nader then turned Vinicius Jr’s effort into his own net in injury-time, rounding off a superb win.
The result means Real add to their 2014, 2016 and 2017 Club World Cup titles, while manager Solari claimed his first trophy as Los Blancos boss.