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Sports

REUTERS
December 18, 2017
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Ronaldo free kick gives Real another world title

Sports

REUTERS
December 18, 2017

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ABU DHABI: Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a free kick which went through the defensive wall to break Gremio´s brave resistance and give Real Madrid a 1-0 victory over the South American champions in the Club World Cup final on Saturday.

Ronaldo´s 53rd-minute strike gave Real their second world title in a row, the third in the last four seasons, and ended Gremio´s hopes of pulling off what would have been a huge upset.The European champions, enjoying the backing of most neutrals at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, dominated as expected, with 20 shots on goal to Gremio´s one, but the much more limited Brazilians still made their lives uncomfortable.

Overall, it was the Spanish club´s sixth world title as they also won the old Intercontinental Cup — now recognised by FIFA — three times. Real also extended European dominance with 10 wins out of 13 since the club cup was started in its current form in 2005, reflecting the region´s financial dominance in the sport. The dynamics of modern football mean that the best South American, Asian and African players line up against, rather than for, the teams from their own continents, and Real´s side on Saturday included Brazilians Marcelo and Casemiro.

Gremio coach Renato Portaluppi won the old International Cup as a player with the same club in 1983 when his two goals gave them a 2-1 win over Hamburg SV but a repeat never looked on the cards.

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