Real Madrid beat Al Ain to retain Club World Cup crown

Real Madrid were crowned world champions for the third consecutive year after they thrashed Al Ain 4-1 on Saturday.

See how the action unfolded in Abu Dhabi with our liveblog!

Goals from Luka Modric, Marcos Llorente and Sergio Ramos were capped off by Yahia Nader deflecting Vinicius Jr's effort into his own net as Madrid became the first club to ever successively retain the Club World Cup.

Llorente continued in defensive midfield, despite Casemiro’s return to fitness, while Lucas Vazquez was once more preferred to Isco as the winger looked to extend his unbeaten run in the side under Santiago Solari.

Al Ain were Los Blancos’ opponents after they shocked River Plate on penalties in the semi-finals, and leading their attack was Sweden striker Marcus Berg, who had scored 44 goals in just 45 appearances for the club. Once coached by Barcelona and Argentina icon Diego Maradona, they were nicknamed ‘The Boss’, given their status as by far the most successful club in the UAE, which was coincidentally hosting the tournament.

Madrid had won the last two Club World Cups and were aiming to become the first team in the competition’s history to lift three in a row.

Sadly for Al Ain, the occasion only served to highlight the gulf in class between themselves and Madrid, who led through Modric's first goal of the season, the Croat delightfully curling home from 20 yards out.

Vazquez and Benzema had chances to put the Emirati champions out of sight by half-time, but the winger hit the post twice from close range and the Frenchman blazed over when it was easier to hit the target.

Khalid Eissa was then on hand to tip over a towering header and beat away Modric's thunderous volley, but he could do nothing about Llorente's similar effort on the bounce.

Thibaut Courtois had little to do but was kept on his toes by lively Brazilian attacker Caio, who forced the goalkeeper into a block, although Ramos soon headed in Los Merengues' third goal. The defender immediately ran to Isco, who was warming up, and hugged him.

Tsukasa Shiotani did salvage some pride for Al Ain when looped a header over Courtois, but Vinicius Jr came off the bench to tee up fellow substitute Yahia Nader for an own goal deep in stoppage time.

Real Madrid 4-1 Al Ain

Modric 14, Llorente 60, Ramos 78, Nader og 90 (RM) Shiotani 86 (AA)

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Llorente (Casemiro 82), Kroos (Ceballos 71); Vazquez (Vinicius 84), Benzema, Bale

Al Ain: Eissa; Hamed, Ismaeel Ahmed, Caio, Berg (Nader 75), Fayez, Mohamed Abdulrahman (Amer Abdulrahman 67), Mohamed Ahmed (Bandar Mohammed 64), Shiotani, Yaslam, El Shahat

Referee: Marrufo (USA)

Tags Al Ain Club World Cup
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