Real Madrid

After defeating Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia 5-3 in the FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday in Rabat, Morocco, Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde both scored twice as Real Madrid won the tournament for a record-extending fifth time.

The European Champions League champions Madrid were strong underdogs against their Asian opponents, and they duly jumped out to a 2-0 lead inside just 20 minutes thanks to goals from Vinicius and Valverde.

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But Moussa Marega’s goal for Al Hilal, the first Saudi Arabian team to reach the championship, gave the game new life.

Early in the second half, with two more rapid goals from the fit-again Karim Benzema and Madrid, Madrid surged ahead once more.

With little over 30 minutes left, Uruguayan midfielder Valverde added a second goal to seemingly seal the victory.

Instead, Al Hilal’s re-entry into the game thanks to a brace from former Atletico Madrid forward Luciano Vietto, either side of a second from Vinicius, is unlikely to excite Madrid manager Ancelotti.

Real Madrid
Real Madrid

Madrid had enough to hold on for a well-earned victory in a match that established the record for the most combined goals in a Club World Cup final, even if Al Hilal may have caused some serious late drama if not for a poor shot from Marega.

The Spanish powerhouses, who previously won three championships in four years between 2014 and 2018, have now triumphed in all five competition finals that they have participated in. With three victories, Barcelona is the next-most successful team in the FIFA competition, which started in 2000 and has been held yearly since 2005.

The trophy has now been won by European teams in the last 10 Club World Cups.

There were some errors at the defence, but there was a lot of quality up front, according to Ancelotti. “The injured players, Karim, [Eder] Militao, and [Thibaut] Courtois, are returning, and this title provides us a push to prepare for this conclusion of the season, and we still have a lot of confidence,” said Thibaut Courtois. It’s been successful.

We’re excited to fight till the end in every minute, every game, and every competition for the remainder of the season given the improvement we’ve witnessed in previous games.

– Ancelotti praises Valverde and Vinicius after winning the Club World Cup

Real Madrid
Real Madrid

Real Madrid

A day after Carlo Ancelotti admitted it was touch-and-go if Benzema could play at all, his inclusion in Madrid’s starting lineup came as a small surprise. The winner of the Ballon d’Or missed Madrid’s last two contests, including Wednesday’s 4-1 semifinal victory over the Egyptian team Al Ahly.

The France striker put Vinicius clean to beat Abdullah Al-Mayouf in goal after exchanging passes with Valverde. Al-Mayouf got a leg to the shot but was unable to stop it from going into his net.

Valverde broke a A defender made a weak clearance between his knees, and it sailed past Al-Mayouf in the 18th minute to double the lead.

Al Hilal, though, got their footing in the 26th minute after Marega caught Madrid’s backline trying to spring an offside trap after struggling to even connect three passes in the initial period. The backup goalkeeper for Madrid, Andriy Lunin, who started in place of the injured Thibaut Courtois, was unfazed as the former Porto striker dashed away.

Real Madrid
Real Madrid

Al Hilal was defeated by the goal, and Madrid was halted until Benzema’s goal was assisted by a beautiful ball from Vinicius.

Vinicius met Benzema’s darting move by bending a cross around a defender with the outside edge of his right boot. Benzema executed

In the 54th, rest by giving it one touch to transform it into the top of the net.

In the 58th, Valverde added his second.

With Madrid’s defence failing to keep tabs on the Argentine in the box, Vietto scored in the 63rd and 79th minutes, either side of Vinicius’ second goal.

Al Hilal lost the chance to attempt a last-ditch equalizer due to a late Marega error.

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