Real Madrid played against Japanese club Kashima Antlers in the Final of the Club World Cup as they came out with a win that many didn’t expect to be as difficult as it turned out to be!
Deciding not to worry much about most players being tired after playing last Thursday, Zinedine Zidane named the same starting lineup as he did in the semifinal but made one change. The starting eleven consisted of:
Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Carlos Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Lucas Vazquez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid –
Karim Benzema (9′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (60′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (98′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (104′)
Kashima Antlers –
Gaku Shibasaki (44′)
Gaku Shibasaki (54′)
I admit that I have been criticizing Karim Benzema a lot in recent games and I don’t take any of it back but against Kashima Antlers we saw the Benzema that we always wanted to see. Putting aside his goal, the French attacker was all over the place and moving into positions with perfection. His link-up play was practically perfect and, if I’m not mistaken, it seems as though he got a little faster as well! A wonderful match for him to end 2016.
Why is Cristiano Ronaldo regarded the best player in the world? Put aside the fact that he won major trophies this year with Real Madrid and the Portugal National Team. He showed why in this final once again. The winger was one of the worst players on the pitch throughout a good amount of the game, even though he got his name on the scoresheet with a penalty. Suddenly, he came out and practically won the game for Los Merengues with a wonderful hat-trick showing that you can never ever count him out no matter what.
Not anywhere close to his best game as Raphael Varane continues to be quite inconsistent in his performances for the club. Having said that, it was quite hilarious to see that so many people were saying that he should be sold! He has shown us time and time again that he has the capabilities not only to be a Real Madrid player but also to be a starter. Unfortunately, injuries have made things a lot more difficult for the French defender but asking him to be sold is way over the top in my opinion.
Some Quick Facts:
It took Zinedine Zidane 11 months to win 3 trophies, less than anyone in history
Real Madrid start a season without a defeat after 26 games for the first time in the club’s 114 year history
Real Madrid now have the most international titles in history (21) as Barcelona and Al Ahly are in second place with 20
To end this post perfectly, here are some great pictures of a memorable win!