Real Madrid eye Club World Cup retention to cap trophy-laden year

Posted December 15, 2017

Madrid trail Barca by eight points at the top of the Spanish La Liga and finished second to Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League group, which proved costly as they were paired with free-spending Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster last 16 tie on Monday.

Real Madrid avoided humiliation against Al Jazira as Gareth Bale's late victor earned them a 2-1 victory and a place in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.

As a ploy to perhaps unsettle the Real Madrid forward, it appeared to work initially.

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Al Jazira then came close to being TWO goals up against the European champions.

"It is not going to be easy for us".

Of the prospect of winning a fifth trophy this year, he added: "I don't think (this would be the club's best year) because Real Madrid is a big club, but it motivates me and all the players".

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"We are immensely proud of the support the people of the UAE have given throughout the tournament", said Aref Hamed Al Awani, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC).

"Just having Real Madrid here is awesome, but to see them play Al Jazira in the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 is a huge boost for the whole country", commented Mohammed Jamal, a Real Madrid fan from the UAE.

Cristiano Ronaldo and substitute Gareth Bale struck later to claim victory for Real and keep alive their chances of a second successive Club World Cup crown.

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With the win Real Madrid go through to Saturday's final in which they will play Brazilian side Gremio.