Defending champions Real Madrid lifted the FIFA Club World Cup for a record fourth time on Saturday after thrashing local side Al Ain 4-1 in the final match in Abu Dhabi.
Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale (R) is congratulated by teammate defender Alvaro Odriozola during the Spanish league football match between SD Huesca and Real Madrid CF at the El Alcoraz stadium on December 9, 2018. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)
The Spanish side’s win was not without the help of impressive distance strikes in either half from midfielders Luka Modric and Marcos Llorente.
Recently-crowned Ballon d’Or winner Modric took one touch before thumping the ball into the bottom corner from outside the box to break the deadlock in the 14th minute.
But Al Ain had missed two early chances to take a shock lead.
Real Madrid’s home-grown midfielder Marcos Llorente doubled the European champions lead on the hour mark with a superbly-struck volley from outside the area.
Spain captain Sergio Ramos grabbed his side’s third goal with a powerful header from a corner kick.
Al Ain, who shocked South American champions River Plate in the semi-finals, however got a late consolation goal through Japanese defender Tsukasa Shiotani.
Real Madrid substitute Vinicius Jr. burst through in stoppage time to fire in a shot which defender Yahia Nader diverted into his own net.
Real Madrid have won the last three editions of the tournament, also lifting the trophy in 2014, and moved ahead of FC Barcelona as the club to have won it the most times.(Reuters/NAN)