Santiago Solari Credits Zinedine Zidane After Club World Cup Title

Tuesday, 25 Dec, 2018

Real Madrid secured their third successive Club World Cup title as they defeated Al Ain 4-1 in Saturday's final in Abu Dhabi.

It is thought that the captain of Los Blancos received a negative reception due to his challenge on Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during last season's Champions League Final as the fallout from that game continues to rumble on.

Victory means Madrid have won the tournament three years in a row and their fourth triumph in the competition moves them clear of rivals Barcelona as the Club World Cup's most successful team.

"These players deserve it. It will be hard to match in the future", said Solari of Zidane's previous accomplishments at Real Madrid.

The Egyptian midfielder made a couple of cutbacks, including outmaneuvering Real Madrid net minder Thibaut Courtois, but his shot was saved at the goal line by Sergio Ramos. No-one expected us to get to this point'. "It's my first for the senior team, and what could be better than in this final". For his part, Al Ain's player Amer Abdulrahman reiterated his playmates' unswerving will to introduce a lovely football tomorrow and raise the UAE flag high at the end of the match. Karim Benzema received the ball from Lucas Vazquez and, with his back to Al Ain's goal, passed it to the Modric, who curled the ball past goalkeeper Khalid Essa.

Santiago Solari Credits Zinedine Zidane After Club World Cup Title
Santiago Solari Credits Zinedine Zidane After Club World Cup Title

The hosts did show a great effort in trying to hold off Madrid's wave after wave of attack, and even caused some troubles of their own, having a shot on target and several other efforts that went awry. It fell to Llorente to double the lead with half an hour left when he blasted in a powerful low strike when a clearance of a corner kick fell to him outside the box. 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.

Earlier, River Plate beat Asian champions Kashima Antlers 4-0 for third place.

Gonzalo Martinez scored twice on what is expected to be his final appearance before joining MLS champions Atlanta United.

Luka Modric scored one goal and set up another in leading Real Madrid to the title.