Real Madrid claimed their third Club World Cup trophy following their 1-0 victory over Gremio at the Sheikh Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Real Madrid 1 Gremio 0
Ronaldo with the only goal on 53′
Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero for Real Madrid as he netted the only goal in the second-half of this tie, to join rivals Barcelona, who have also won the competition three times.
The Spanish champions were in command in the opening exchanges, with Karim Benzema seeing an early goal-bound shot blocked.
Ronaldo’s first attempt arrived in the 17th minute with a shot from the edge of box that sailed wide of the target.
Luka Modric was also off target as Real continued to look the better side, although without really troubling the Gremio defence.
And heading into the half-time break, while Zinedine Zidane’s side had all of the possession, they failed to test Marcelo Grohe in the Brazilian side’s goal.
Modric was unable to get on the end of a whipped in Toni Kroos free-kick from the left as Real looked to up the tempo at the start of the second period.
Ronaldo fired wide in anger on 51 minutes, with his frustration at having not seen much of the ball in good areas.
But all that changed just moments later as the Portugal attacker curled a 53rd minute free-kick around the Gremio wall and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
The goal certainly knocked the stuffing out of the Gremio players, who were lucky to survive conceding a second on the hour mark, from a cheeky Ronaldo backheel after Benzema saw a toe-poked effort saved by Grohe.
But far from give up, Renato Portaluppi’s sode raised their game, with Jailson and Bruno Cortez increasingly difficult to handle down the left flank.
Real, meanwhile, were seeing a lot of the ball but doing very little with it, ahead of the introduction of Gareth Bale, for the last ten minutes, for Benzema.
And his first involvement saw the Welshman force a fingertip save from Grohe, from a sweet shot with the outside of his boot.
Real were happy to get Bale on the ball as much as possible in the dying minutes, although for all his energy and running, the former Tottenham man could not effect the scoreline, as the Spanish champions claimed victory to rapturous applause from the United Arab Emirates supporters.
Pachuca claimed third place after beating Al Jazira 4-1 earlier in the day, with Jonathan Urretaviscaya (37), Franco Jara (60), Roberto de la Rosa (79) and Angelo Sagal (84) all on target for the Mexican side, as Khalfan Mubarak (57) netted for the team from Abu Dhabi.