UAE's Club World Cup closes with Real Madrid win

UAE's Club World Cup closes with Real Madrid win
Champions of the world's biggest continental trophies met head-to-head in the UAE this week, with Real Madrid lifting the trophy and Emirati side al-Jazeera bowing out at fourth.
2 min read
17 Dec, 2017
Real Madrid lifted the FIFA Club World Cup for a third time [Anadolu]
Portuguese footballer Christiano Ronaldo scored one of the most spectacular free-kicks in his career on Saturday, to secure the FIFA Club World Cup for Real Madrid after a 1-0 win against Brazilian side Gremio.

Ronaldo attempted what appeared to be an impossible goal as he stepped up to take the free-kick, but managed to curl the ball around the Gremio wall hitting it into the bottom corner of the net. 

His goal completed the campaign for Real Madrid in the tournament hosted by the UAE, earning the Spanish giants their third Club World Cup title after the narrow 1-0 victory in Abu Dhabi.

Although the FIFA Club World Cup lacks the prestige or interest from football fans as other tournaments, it officially crowns Real Madrid as the best team in the world.

They have also equalled Spanish rivals Barcelona as the most successful club in the tournament which, has been running since 2005.

The UAE have promoted the tournament hard, in a competition that is seen by many as a minor consolation for Abu Dhabi after not securing more prestigious tournaments. 

Although European club football is widely perceived as way ahead of other continents, Real Madrid did not have an entirely easy ride during the campaign, scraping a 2-1 win against UAE side al-Jazira to reach the final.

On Saturday, al-Jazira played Pachuca in Abu Dhabi for third place, getting thumped 4-1 by the Mexican side who had lost to Gremio in the semi-finals.

Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca made the world tournament after beating Egypt's al-Ahly in November over two legs to lift Africa's continental trophy.

They crashed out of the Club World Cup at the first hurdle, losing to Pachuca in the quarter-finals. 
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Wydad Casablanca took sixth place in the tournament after losing to Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds for the consolation fifth position play-offs.

The UAE will also go on to host the 2018 edition of the tournament, which sees champions of the major continental trophies meet to decide who is the world's best.

Abu Dhabi has led a campaign to have the 2022 World Cup taken off Qatar and is rumoured to be pressing for football's most prestigious trophy to be hosted by the UAE instead.

UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have launched a blockade on Qatar who they accuse of sponsoring extremist groups, something that Doha denies.

Dubai security chief Dhahi Khalfan had suggested that the blockade might end if Qatar surrenders the World Cup.

Qatar was due to host this year's Gulf Cup, but a boycott by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain led Doha to allow Kuwait to host the event instead.