Real Madrid clinched record-extending fifth Club World Cup title

Real Madrid clinched record-extending fifth Club World Cup title

Real Madrid clinched their record-extending FIFA Club World Cup 2023 title after beating Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal 5-3 in the final. This marks their fifth victory in the competition, winning it in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2017, and solidifies their status as one of the top clubs in the world. 

“We are very happy, for the eighth time Madrid are champions of the world, it was what we had to do,” said head coach Carlo Ancelotti. “We’re happy, it was a good game. I think we were good up front, with Vinicius, Karim, Valverde, who got two, and up top the team had mobility and quality.” Madrid last won the Club World Cup in 2018. 

Vinicius Junior scored a brace and assisted Karim Benzema with a third, while Federico Valverde added two more in an eight-goal thriller in Rabat, Morocco. Vinicius and Valverde opened the scoring for the European champions before Moussa Marega gave Al-Hilal their first goal. Vinicius set up Benzema’s goal in the 54th minute before Valverde scored his second four minutes later. 

Al Hilal’s hope came back to life after Luciano Vietto scored in the 63rd and 79th as Madrid’s defence failed to track the Argentinian in the box. However, it was not enough to beat Real’s initial score until the final whistle was heard, with the Spanish champions ending Al Hilal’s hope of becoming the first Asian team to lift the trophy. The Los Blancos won for the record-extending fifth time. 

This win marks Real’s eight global titles, three Intercontinental Cups in 1960, 1998 and 2002 –  a match between European and South American champions, which merged with the Club World Cup in 2005. It also means European teams have won the past 10 editions of the tournament. Real is currently eleven points behind current leaders and rival Barcelona in La Liga. 

The Club World Cup, which takes place annually, brings together the champions from each of the six confederations, along with the host nation’s league champions, to determine the best club team in the world. This year’s competition took place in Japan. Chelsea won the 2022 edition of the tournament. Earlier Brazilian Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo finished third with a 4-2 win over Egypt’s Al Ahly.

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