MNA Sports Desk: Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a free kick which went through the defensive wall to break Gremio’s brave resistance and give Real Madrid a 1-0 victory over the South American champions in the Club World Cup final on Saturday.
Ronaldo’s 53rd-minute strike gave Real their second world title in a row, the third in the last four seasons, and ended Gremio’s hopes of pulling off what would have been a huge upset. Ronaldo, though, confirmed he will be fit for next weekend’s Clasico against Barcelona.
The European champions, enjoying the backing of most neutrals at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, dominated as expected, with 20 shots on goal to Gremio’s one, but the much more limited Brazilians still made their lives uncomfortable.
Overall, it was the Spanish club’s sixth world title as they also won the old Intercontinental Cup—now recognised by FIFA—three times.
Real also extended European dominance with 10 wins out of 13 since the club cup was started in its current form in 2005, reflecting the region’s financial dominance in the sport.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has admitted the tournament needs a revamp and wants to replace it with a new one featuring up to 24 teams.
Earlier, Mexican side Pachuca beat hosts Al Jazira 4-1 in the third-place play-off.