ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Spanish football giants Real Madrid lifted a record fourth FIFA Club World Cup trophy after beating opponents Al-Ain 4-1 in the final on Saturday at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
An early goal from 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric in the 14th minute set the mood for Madrid who was determined to put their domestic worries behind them on the international stage.
In the second half, Marcos Llorente doubled the Spanish side’s lead with a 60th-minute strike before Sergio Ramos made it 3-0 on 79 minutes.
The UAE club was lifted when Tsukasa Shiotani pulled a goal back in the 86th minute but his efforts were in vain after teammate Yahia Nader scored an own goal in the last minute of the match.
The victory means Madrid win the competition for a third consecutive season and a record fourth overall after lifting the title in 2014, 2016, 2017, and now in 2018.
Surprise finalists Al-Ain shocked many people on route to the showpiece on Saturday after beating a host of final favorites, including South American side River Plate.
River Plate, meanwhile, beat Kashima Antlers 4-0 in Saturday’s third-place match to secure the bronze medal.
The FIFA Club World Cup, held annually, is a club competition between the champions from six continental confederations as well as the league champion from the country which hosts the event.
This year’s tournament was held in the UAE, and Al-Ain qualified having won the 2017-18 UAE Pro-League.
The other teams included the 2018 winners from the OFC Champions League, Team Wellington, CONCACAF Champions League, Guadalajara, CAF Champions League, Espérance de Tunis, AFC Champions League, Kashima Antlers, Copa Libertadores, River Plate, and UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid.