Real Madrid have began their third straight Club World campaign out in Abu Dhabi, and it was former finalists Kashima Antlers that stood in the way of yet another final. A heavy squad was taken, but Solari chose to keep ten of the last games line-up, this time introducing Gareth Bale to replace Marco Asensio. A dreary first half lead to an much improved second, and Madrid saw off the opposition with a convincing 3-1 scoreline. Below you’ll find all of the player ratings from the game!
Thibaut Courtois — 6: As bright as Kashima were with their general play they didn’t really test the big Belgian all too much. That being said he was imposing with aerial balls coming into the box and was reliable with his feet when needed.
Dani Carvajal — 6: Ever present, and could have nabbed a goal if it wasn’t for a good defensive intervention from the Kashima defender. Did get booked for a terrible challenge towards the end of the first half.
Sergio Ramos — 6.5: After a tedious first half, the second half opened up and became the kind of game where Sergio could become a bit of a free roamer. He had a couple of chances to score with his head, but failed on every attempt. Defensively looked pretty sound.
Raphaël Varane — 7: Another solid showing from the Frenchman. A similiar performance in the final will make him do the historic World Cup double.
Marcelo — 7.5: His link-up play with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema was nothing short of world class, and his two asists for Bale’s goal are a testament to that. Better teams may well have punished his offensive tedancies as I’m sure we’ve all seen before - but in this game he had the Japanese side at his mercy.
Marcos Llorente — 7: The hype train is showing no signs of stopping, at here at ManagingMadrid we loved Marcos first... Probably. Another strong game to add to his collection, with the midfielder relishing the opportunity to show off his passing abilities on the big stage.
Toni Kroos — 6.5: The first half may have been a spectators nightmare, but it was just the type of play that allowed Toni Kroos to strut his stuff. The controlsive midfielder barely misplayed a pass throughout, and worked well with his fellow midfielders to eventually dominate the proceedings.
Luka Modrić — 6: Popped up in decent areas, but another quiet one for the world player of the year. Came into the game a lot more in the latter stages.
Lucas Vazquez — 6: Looked pretty sharp, although it has to be said that most of the teams action was coming down the opposite wing. Eventually came off for Isco.
Gareth Bale — 8.5: An 11 minute hat-trick, with the added bonus of the halftime break, saw Gareth Bale break loose and score all three of Madrid’s goals. Elsewhere he was lively and created some magic alongside Benzema and Marcelo. Was substituted on the hour mark for Asensio, but still collects that shiny man of the match award!
Karim Benzema — 7.5: Plenty of action for Karim today. Despite missing the chances that came his way, he did combine with Bale and Marcelo terrifically on that left hand side.
Marco Asensio: Came on for Bale, played 14 minutes, got injured and came back off for Casemiro. No rating.
Isco — 5.5: Came on for Lucas and looked decent on the ball. Got a fair amount of it as well as Real Madrid took control for the final part of the game.
Casemiro: Came on for the injured Marco Asensio and didn’t contribute much, although didn’t do the best job on the Kashima goal. Still, no rating.
Real Madrid make their third Club World Cup final in a row! They will play Al Ain from the UAE on saturday, and will be clear favourites as you can imagine. They will have to give it full focus though, as you can never say never in football.