Real in a World of their own, says Solari

25 December, 2018, 03:12 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Hat-trick! Real Madrid win Club World Cup

Real Madrid eased to a third straight Club World Cup title as Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos scored in a 4-1 final victory over home team Al Ain in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

They will meet a Real Madrid side that have conquered Europe in the last three seasons and are on the verge of a record four Club World Cup titles, but who have also struggled for form this season, leading them to sack manager Julen Lopetegui in October, replacing him with Argentine Santiago Solari.

It has three more world titles than the next best, AC Milan. Al Ain reached the final after proving to be the surprise of the short tournament.

Japanese defender Tsukasa Shiotani pulled one back for Al-Ain on a header off a free kick in the 86th minute, but Real Madrid stretched their lead back to three in second-half injury time when a shot by late substitute Vinicius Junior entered the goal after ricocheting off defender Yahia Nader. Ballon d'Or victor Luka Modric fired a spectacular shot into the bottom corner from outside the box to break the deadlock in the 14th minute after a promising start from Al Ain.

Al Ain then went on to beat African champions Esperance de Tunis 3-0 and South American champions River Plate 5-4 on penalties in the semifinals to set up the glamour showdown with Real Madrid.

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Team Wellington were no doubt wondering what might have been yesterday as Al Ain, the team they nearly beat 10 days ago, contested the Club World Cup final against Real Madrid.

"We are happy, these players deserve it, they have come here after a lot of work and a lot of wins", Solari told TVE. "It's been a dream year".

But the rest of the match, Madrid lived up to their elite status and the talent gap was evident between the sides.

However, Solari's players proved too big a task for the host side to take on, with Real Madrid taking a lead after 14 minutes.

"Real Madrid wants to offer condolences to the families and friends of the tsunami victims in Indonesia, and to show solidarity with all those affected", the club said in a statement.

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