Mon, Dec 18, 12:40pm by Staff Writer
Real Madrid secured their fifth trophy of 2017 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, when Cristiano Ronaldo slotted a 25-yard free-kick into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
After a dominant first half, in which both Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos had great chances to open the scoring, it took nearly an hour for Los Blancos to take the lead, when the freshly-crowned Ballon d’Or winner stepped up for a trademark effort from outside the box.
The 1-0 win sees Zinedine Zidane’s charges add the Club World Cup to a Liga and Champions League double at the end of last season, before adding a UEFA Super Cup, a Spanish Supercopa this calendar year.
Having squeezed past local side Al Jazira in the semi-final on Thursday, when they looked susceptible on the counter-attack, Madrid’s performance in the final was far more complete.
Ronaldo’s winner sees him become the first player to score in successive Club World Cup finals and sees coach Zidane secure his eighth title since taking over at Real in January 2016.
While Madrid was away in the Capital of the United Arab Emirates, their fiercest rival, Barcelona, extended their lead to 11 points over the Champions, ahead of Saturday’s El Classico at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Being at home, Los Blancos are a $2 favourite to get a crucial win over the league leaders, who are out at $3.10 to get a rare away win in the Spanish capital.
A win for Zidane’s side can see the Champions get back to within five points of Barca, providing that they also take all three points in their game in hand, which is an away trip to Leganes.
The odds for the title see Barca in at $1.25, while Madrid are out at $4.33 to defend their crown.
Of course, both of the La Liga giants are also in the mix to take out Europe’s Premier Domestic competition, the Champions League. They both sit on the fourth line of betting at Sportsbet, at $8.
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