Goals from Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale ensured Real Madrid CF won their first FIFA Club World Cup title with a 2-0 defeat of Argentina's San Lorenzo de Almagro.
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Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale were on target as Real Madrid won their first FIFA Club World Cup title following a battling 2-0 victory over Argentina's San Lorenzo de Almagro in Marrakech.
Ramos struck ten minutes before half-time, while Bale added to his goals in the 2014 Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League finals to seal Madrid's 22nd consecutive win in all competitions. Madrid equal AC Milan's record of four world club titles, having both also lifted the old European-South American Cup three times before clinching the successor trophy, each under Carlo Ancelotti.
Full of confidence following their comprehensive 4-0 semi-final victory over Cruz Azul FC, the Merengues started the game quickly, causing problems from the off for the South American representatives. They might have taken the lead inside three minutes when Toni Kroos fed Cristiano Ronaldo on the left-hand side, however the Portuguese forward's cross just evaded the outstretched leg of Karim Benzema.
Ronaldo then saw a free-kick well saved by Sebastián Torrico before the goalkeeper then thwarted Gareth Bale following a lightening quick break. However, there was little he could do as Ramos – winner of the Golden Ball as the best player in the competition – powered home from the resulting Kroos corner to send Madrid in ahead at the break.
Five minutes into the second-half Bale gave Madrid breathing space, doubling the side's advantage with a low finish that squirmed under Torrico. San Lorenzo briefly threatened to make a comeback with Enzo Kalinski volleying over, while Pablo Barrientos forced a smart low stop from Iker Casillas, who enjoyed an otherwise quiet 700th appearance for the club.
Ronaldo almost got his name on the scoresheet with a late header, however there were to be no more goals as Ancelotti's side ended an incredible year with the global title.
It has been an incredible, unforgettable year. Naturally we’re very happy to end 2014 with this title; it is fantastic. However, we must now continue because the season doesn’t end here today. We’re only halfway through the current campaign and we will work hard for 2015 to be as successful.
It's a good time for me in my career, I'm happy. To have come to this club and won the Champions League in my first year and then the Club World Cup is incredible.
It's a special day for the club and our fans. It's the rewards for all of the sacrifices made by the side last season and for winning the UEFA Champions League. We dedicate this to the fans. We're very happy. It has been an unbeatable, unforgettable year.
Personally, I'm very happy. I gave my best, and it's always nice to get on the scoresheet. When you're lucky enough to score in both a semi-final and final it makes you feel a little bit better, but it’s all about the team's collective work. From the off we knew what we wanted and what we had to do.