Vinicius Junior scored twice as Real Madrid won the Club World Cup for a fifth time by beating Al Hilal 5-3 in Saturday’s chaotic final.
The Brazilian, who has faced appalling racism in Spain this season, let his football speak for itself in Rabat as Carlo Ancelotti lifted the trophy for Madrid.
Federico Valverde also scored a brace and Karim Benzema’s return from a minor injury was a welcome goal as Madrid were never troubled by the Saudi Arabian champions.
Al Hilal beat Flamengo in the semi-finals, but beating the holders of the UEFA Champions League is a tough move, even if they beat Madrid at times.
Vinicius took the lead in the 13th minute when Benzema played him in on the left side of the goal. The Brazilian’s right-footed shot failed to finish, blocking the defense of goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf.
Argentina’s Luciano Vietto equalized minutes later when a shot from 20 yards wide almost inches from the left post. However, Madrid won 2-0 in the 18th minute from a soft goal for Al Hilal to concede.
Luka Modric’s cross from the right was too hot for Al Muaiouf, who fed the ball to Valverde, who curled a 15-yard volley past defender Ali Al Boulayhi and past the goalkeeper. Al Muaiouf had a better chance when he canceled out Benzema’s strike.
In the 26th minute, when Moussa Marega shot past Andriy Looney, the idea that Los Blancos could make an easy exit saw midfielder Benzema miss a good chance to make it two goals back.
Benzema made no such mistake in the 54th minute, meeting a powerful cross from Vinicius on the left. Vinicius’ through ball swung to the outside of his right foot and was read by Benzema, whose sharp movement left three markers.
Dani Carvajal combined with Valverde in the 58th minute for Madrid to enter the Al Hilal penalty area and Valverde scored his second goal of the game.
Five minutes later, Antonio Rudiger was caught napping as Vietto raced past Looney to make it 4-2 for Madrid, but Vinicius soon turned in a three-point cushion in the right corner.
Vietto scored again in the 79th minute, but Madrid avoided a costly defensive setback to claim the trophy.
Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Andriy Lunin – 4/10 – Looks low on confidence and fans online shared his lack of optimism every time he got involved.
RB: Dani Carvajal – 7/10 – A major threat going forward and secured a well-deserved assist for the fourth goal.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 5/10 – Mixed results from his battle with Marega. Perhaps a little fortunate to get away without conceding a penalty late in the first half.
CB: David Alaba – 4/10 – Too aggressive in attack and couldn’t get his positioning right trying to play the offside trap.
LB: Eduardo Camavinga – 7/10 – Real’s best defender and he’s not even a defender.
DM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 6/10 – Another whose performance was a bit all over. Some outstanding moments but occasionally too slow with the ball at his feet. Went off injured after an hour.
CM: Toni Kroos – 7/10 – Looked refreshed after his break. Pulled the strings with some excellent passing.
CM: Luka Modric – 7/10 – Like Kroos, orchestrated proceedings with some sensational playmaking.
RW: Federico Valverde – 9/10 – Knows how to turn it on in the big games. Perhaps a little fortunate with his goal but he undoubtedly earned that luck.
ST: Karim Benzema – 8/10 – Surprisingly wasteful in front of goal before eventually finding the back of the net. A major problem when dropping deep. Enjoyed being the focal point of the attack before being protected on the hour mark.
LW: Vinicius Junior – 9/10 – A constant threat with his speed and dribbling. Regularly got in behind and made the most of it with two goals and an assist.
Rodrygo (62′ for Benzema) – 6/10 – Got into a few nice positions but failed to make the most of them.
Dani Ceballos (62′ for Tchouameni) – 7/10 – So composed with the ball at his feet.
Nacho Fernandez (74′ for Modric) – 5/10 – Couldn’t settle in the game at all.
Marco Asensio (74′ for Kroos) – 5/10 – Couldn’t get involved really.
Jesus Vallejo (79′ for Carvajal) – 5/10 – Immediately under pressure.
Carlo Ancelotti – 6/10 – A bit of a shaky first half from Real but Ancelotti clearly got his half-time team-talk right. His changes did cause problems, but the boss likely expected his reserves to be better than they were.
Al Hilal player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Abdullah Al Muaiouf (4); RB: Saud Abdulhamid (5); CB: Jang Hyun-soo (4); CB: Ali Al-Boleahi (4); LB: Khalifah Aldawsari (5); DM: Mohamed Kanno (6); DM: Gustavo Cuellar (5); RM: Andre Carrillo (7); AM: Luciano Vietto (8); LM: Salem Al-Dawsari (6); ST: Moussa Marega (7)
Substitutes: Michael (7); Al Dawsari (6), Ighalo (N/A), Al Hamddan (N/A)