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Real Madrid are not 'back', they never went away


The sixth Club World Cup title for Real Madrid and the fifth trophy of 2017 with today's game being the tenth consecutive undefeated final. This is what gives Real Madrid the edge! The latest triumph came after a drab game but one that was well controlled by Zidane's side with a solitary goal deciding the affair, bagged by that man who just can't stop scoring, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker was on hand to convert a free-kick that he himself earned for the side. He later hit the net again but the goal was ruled off for a marginal offside call on Benzema and the No. 7 also forced Gremio keeper Grohe into pulling off the best stop of the night.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates winning the FIFA Club World Cup
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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates winning the FIFA Club World CupAMR ABDALLAH DALSHREUTERS

Abrasive start

The game started with a warning after an ugly tackle from Geromel which left visible stud marks on the Madrid striker's calf. Cristiano removed his shin-pads to show the effects of the tackle to match official César Ramos but the Mexican referee decided on taking no action. In South America rash tackles are often overlooked and Madrid soon knew they were not in for an easy ride. As the game wore on, they played in an orderly and composed manner, carrying on from their recent impressive performance against Sevilla. My French colleague Hermel who has a good relationship with Zidane, observed: “Real Madrid grow when they sense a title is near”.

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El Clasico

The win was never really in doubt throughout the 90 minutes apart from one brief moment when it may have appeared that Sergio Ramos upended Ramiro close to the six-yard-box and this was a complain later voiced by Renato. It was one of the isolated forays from the Brazilian outfit in the Real Madrid area while Modric struck the post for the men in white. So after a week in the Emirates, Madrid come back stringer and with Gareth Bale nearing full fitness with next game  at the Bernabeu being the small matter of El Clásico next Saturday with a win offering a lifeline in getting any title aspirations back on track.