REAL MADRID 4 - KASHIMA 2

Cristiano: "I want to thank the team... it's been a dream year"

The Portuguese was awarded the player of the tournament gong after his hat-trick saw off a spirited Kashima Antlers side in Yokohama.
Celta-Real Madrid: LaLiga

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Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the player of the tournament trophy after the Club World Cup final in Yokohama after scoring four times in two games, including a hat-trick in the final, as Real Madrid won the competition at the expense of Kashima Antlers.

"I didn't expect to end the year like this"

We were made to work hard for it, but in order to win you have to suffer a bit, and we’ve ended the year in the best possible way,” Ronaldo said after the game. “It’s been amazing. I didn’t expect to end the year like this, with a hat-trick and winning the final, helping Real Madrid. I’m very happy.”

"Everybody always expect more of Cristiano"

Ronaldo also answered those critics who have questioned his form of late: “Everybody always expects more of Cristiano. But when I don’t give more it’s because I can’t. The statistics don’t lie and as I said I’m very happy. It’s been an amazing year collectively with Real Madrid and my national team. I’m used to the criticism, I always show my ability on the pitch and it hasn’t worked out that badly for me. So I will continue to concentrate on my job, carry on winning titles and carry on scoring goals.”

"A perfect year"

The Portuguese also found time to thank his teammates for their efforts. “It’s been a very happy week, with the Ballon d’O r and now the Club World Cup title. It’s been a dream year, a perfect year. I want to thank my teammates, because without them Cristiano can’t win the individual awards. It’s been an unforgettable year at the collective and individual level. We’ve won the Champions League, the Supercup, the European Championship, now the Club World Cup and a few days ago the Ballon d’Or. Choosing one is difficult, but the Euros were particularly special because it was the first time.”