Santiago Solari Credits Zinedine Zidane After Club World Cup Title

Posted December 24, 2018

Solari's side left too many gaps at the back and more clinical opponents may have punished them, but the coach will be relieved to collect the first trophy of his reign.

Luka Modric scored one goal and set up another in leading Real Madrid to the Club World Cup title by easing past host side Al Ain 4-1 on Saturday. Even barring the goal, Luka Modric performed in his usual fantastic manner and showed the world why he won the coveted prize.

Real were crowned the best club team on the planet for the third-straight season as they continue to shatter records. The game pits the heavily favored giant of Spanish soccer against the champion of UAE's Arabian Gulf League (and the Club World Cup's "home" team) for the right to crown itself king of the world.

Ballon d'Or victor Luka Modric fired a spectacular shot into the bottom corner from outside the box to break the deadlock in the 14th minute after a promising start from Al Ain.

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Crystal Palace captain Milivojevic said he was "proud of the team". He said: "The third goal, the penalty, was really tough for us". Valuable minutes wasted in a close, close game.

Marcos Llorente was among Madrid's goalscorers in the final, the 23-year-old midfielder scoring his first goal as a professional with a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area.

Asked on Saturday night what's next for him, and if he believed he would stay at Al Ain for the remainder of the campaign, Caio said: "I don't know".

A second goal always looked likely to arrive sooner rather than later, with Modric denied by an excellent save from Al-Ain 'keeper Khalid Eisa. There is no doubt that despite their dominance, Real Madrid must strengthen their squad and step up.

"The Al-Ain performance was fantastic". After significant departures of key players, the squad depth is still poor due to lack of efficient forwards.

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And the young girl was not alone, a local Real Madrid fan's banner was a simple plea to both Ronaldo and ex-manager Zinedine Zidane to return back to the Santiago Bernabeu.

This is supposed to be the premier tournament in club football, yet that is not the case still.

Al-Ain coach Zoran Mamic rued the number of games his side had to play, but was pragmatic in his assessment of the game.

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