There might not have been much fanfare at Cibeles fountain in Madrid, where Real Madrid traditionally celebrate trophy wins, but the Club World Cup did once again illustrate what is fast turning from myth into fact. Real Madrid do not play finals, they win them.
Los Blancos are known for getting the job done once they reach the last hurdle, particularly on the international stage. Against Al Hilal on Saturday night, they put the Saudi Arabian side to the sword with Vinicius Junior and Fede Valverde notching a brace each.
It was their fifth triumph in the Club World Cup, and according to Marca, it takes their record of victories in finals to 32 in internatonal competition. Out of a total of 42, it represents an impressive 76.2% win rate.
Even more remarkable is the fact that of their last 18 international finals, Los Blancos have won 17 of their last 18 (74%). It is a record that runs all the way back to their last Club World Cup final defeat against Boca Juniors in 2000.
Curiously, the one defeat in those 18 was against domestic opposition, as they were defeated by Atletico Madrid in the European Supercup in 2018. Given the clashes between the two in Europe over the last decade, Madridistas are unlikely to lose too much sleep over it.
Despite a drought of a decade in the 21st century, Real Madrid have recovered their relationship with European glory in spectacular fashion. Their run over the last decade is rivalled perhaps only by their own exploits in the 1960s.