Real Madrid beat Club America from Mexico 2-0 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema in the first half added time and Cristiano Ronaldo in second half added time. The goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo happens to be his 500th career club goal and his 377th goal for Real Madrid out of 367 games.
Aside this historic landmark for the player the team is now unbeaten in 36 successive games with their game against Kashima Antlers possibly stretching their run when the two sides meet on Sunday. At the start of the season, Real Madrid seemed to be on the horizon till the meetings of teams with yellow kits slowing them down with draws. Against Club America the team could create chances but could not find the finishing touch, how easy or difficult would it be for them when they face local Japanese team Kashima Antlers?
Zinedine Zidane must be commended for taken Madrid thus far and also helping Cristiano Ronaldo claim the Ballon D’or once again earlier in the week. Zidane rested Sergio Ramos, the most competitive player in the team and captain for Nacho and his combination with Raphael Varane kept out the threats of the Club America forwards. The midfield was packed with the usual Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and anchorman Casemiro with Ronaldo and Benzema supported expertly by Lucas Vasquez who has been excellent in replacing Gareth Bale.
Zidane has strength in depth considering Pepe did not make an appearance in the game and midfielders Isco and Kovacic were on the sidelines with forward Alvaro Morata also resting ahead of the big game. Only Barcelona has won the Club World Cup three times and Real Madrid has a chance to take it to within one therefore it’s all for nothing for Zidane’s charges.
Real Madrid Has A Quest of Winning A Third International Trophy.
In 2000 when the FIFA Club World Cup had its maiden edition Corinthians and Vasco da Gama played in the final with the former crowned as champions. The Club World Cup did not feature in the football calendar again through the years until 2005 when Sao Paulo defeated Liverpool by a lone goal. Meanwhile in 2002, Real Madrid at the time winners of the UEFA Champions League played against Olympia of Paraguay – winners of the 2002 Copa Libertadores with Madrid edging the Paraguay side and emerging 2-0 winners with goals from Ronaldo de Lima and Guti Hernández.
Madrid’s La Decima brought the team its first Club World Cup and second International Club trophy and the team would be looking forward to winning a third international club trophy on December 18th on Sunday.
There are two extra motivations in the Madrid setup in Cristiano Ronaldo and Toni Kroos who have both won the Club World twice. Ronaldo with Manchester United in 2008 and Kroos with Bayern in 2013 with both players second coming in Madrid’s win in 2014. These players want to win the third international club trophy for Madrid and a third Club World Cup for themselves.
Cristiano Ronaldo has not shined in the Club World Cup in the two previous editions he has already played in 2008 and 2014 but his performance against Club America on Thursday shows that the boy from Madeira has at most three more years to compete for honors in the beautiful game and could possibly be crowned the best player of the tournament.