Real Madrid was crowned Club World Cup champion for a record-extending fifth time after the Spanish team beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 5-3 in a thrilling final in Rabat.
Two goals each from Federico Valverde and Vinicius Jr, as well as a Karim Benzema strike, secured the win for the reigning European champion.
“We are very happy. For the eighth time Real Madrid is World Champion,” manager Carlo Ancelotti told Telecinco, per Reuters.
“We made a good game, with a lot of quality up front. Vinicius, Benzema, Valverde … they have done very well. They showed skills and quality. It was great.”
Though the score was 2-1 at the break – Vinicius Jr and Valverde putting the Spaniards 2-0 up before Moussa Marega scored for Al Hilal – Real was the dominant side at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium.
Real was in control throughout the match, dominating possession and having 11 shots on target to Al Hilal’s three, but the defense was, at times, exposed, with Marega and Luciano Vietto causing Real’s defenders problems.
Fans were treated to a high-scoring, entertaining encounter. Vinicius Jr set up Benzema to make it 3-1 before Valverde extended Real’s lead.
Vietto halved the deficit, and fired in a second in the 79th minute, but Real never looked in danger of slipping up.
Victory for Real means European teams have won the past 10 editions of the tournament, while Real now has a combined total of eight global titles, winning three Intercontinental Cup trophies, a predecessor to the Club World Cup.
The next most successful sides are AC Milan and Bayern Munich with four titles each in the two competitions.