22nd December 2018 Real Madrid 4 Al Ain 1 FIFA Club World Cup final ZSC Abu Dhabi

Strongly favoured to win another Club World Cup Real Madrid, in the end, cruised towards their record fourth title.

But the surprise local finalists Al Ain nearly began by taking the lead only for Sergio Ramos to divert a shot off the line.

Player of the Year Luka Modric then drove home a cross to set Los Blancos on their way within 14 minutes.

Real then dominated possession and created various chances without adding to the scoreline before the interval.

Perhaps inevitably Ramos got booked, for a tackle right in front of the benches.

But the love-him-or-hate-him Real captain would have the last laugh as he nodded home a corner in the second half.

That was after the impressive Marcos Llorente had powered in number two for the UEFA Champions.

Al Ain, mostly through their Brazilian Caio, did create the occasional opportunity and they gave the home crowd something to enjoy when Japanese Shiotani glanced home a consolation.

However, it was Real who would conclude the scoring when a run by sub. Vinicius Junior ended with Yahia Nader diverting in his cross for an own goal.

Al Ain had over-achieved much to the delight of the UAE community but it was Los Galacticos and in particular Sergio Ramos, who lifted the trophy.

Other honours went to Welsh star Gareth Bale who was awarded the Golden Boot while Caio of Al Ain received the Silver version.


report & analysis - John Bethell

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