Real Madrid 4, Kashima Antlers 2
Newly-crowned Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo capped a landmark year by scoring a hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Japan’s Kashima Antlers to win the Club World Cup in Tokyo on Sunday.
Real needed a Ronaldo penalty to force extra-time against their unfancied opponents, after two goals from Gaku Shibasaki overturned Karim Benzema’s opener, and the Portugal forward completed the comeback with two more strikes.
Ronaldo also helped Real to win the Champions League for an 11th time earlier this year, scoring the winning penalty in a shoot-out win over Atletico Madrid, and captained his country as they landed their first ever European Championship.
“What a game,” he said. “We had to suffer, but that’s what finals are about. It’s a trophy we really wanted to win and we end the year in the best way possible, so I’m very happy.”
It was a second Club World Cup in three years for Real, although Kashima Antlers manager Masatada Ishii accused referee Janny Sikazwe of “lacking courage” when he could have sent off defender Sergio Ramos.