Real Madrid win Club World Cup

                            

Spain’s Real Madrid yesterday won the Club World Cup for a third consecutive year, and record fourth in total, by beating Abu Dhabi side Al Ain in the final.

Luka Modric curled home the opening goal from the edge of the area after Karim Benzema’s lay-off.

Marcos Llorente hit a stunning 25-yard half-volley – his first professional goal – and Sergio Ramos headed in the third from Modric’s corner.

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Tsukasa Shiotani nodded in for Al Ain before Yahya Nader’s own goal.

Real could have won by more. Lucas Vazquez hit the post early on and Gareth Bale – who scored a semi-final hat-trick against Kashima Antlers – went close with a spectacular bicycle kick, which went just over the bar.

Al Ain had shocked River Plate on penalties in the semi-final but never looked like following that up with a famous win at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

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Midfielder Toni Kroos has won five of the past six Club World Cups – in 2013 with Bayern Munich and 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 with the Spanish side.

Real now hold the record for most victories in the competition, which was first held in 2000, moving one clear of Spanish rivals Barcelona.

Earlier, Copa Libertadores winners River Plate won the third-place play-off by beating Asian champions Kashima Antlers 4-0.

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Gonzalo Martinez scored twice on what is expected to be his final appearance before joining MLS champions Atlanta United.

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