Ronaldo breaks record as Bale fires Madrid to Club World Cup final

"It's obviously a pleasure to play it because you can only do it if you've won the Champions League".

Real Madrid came from behind to book their place in the Club World Cup final with victory over Al Jazira in Abu Dhabi.

They won La Liga, the Champions League, UEFA and Spanish Super Cup in a thrilling fashion after hitting top form in a four-month spell between April and August, but since then the European champions have faded, understandably tired by a heavy schedule.

Madrid were back on level terms thanks to star forward Cristiano Ronaldo who struck in the 53rd minute.

Al Jazira: Ali Khaseif 9 (out of 10), Salim Rashid 6, Mohamed Ayed 7, Musallem Fayez 7, Mohamad Al Attas 6, Yaqoub Al Hosani 6, Fares Juma 6, Khalifa Mubarak 6, Mbark Boussoufa 7, Ali Mabkhout 8, Romarinho 7.

Despite the 2-1 defeat, Al Jazira have pulled firmly on the nation's heart strings, and over 36,000 fans packed into the Zayed Sports City stadium to witness UAE football history. "We are improving in every sense", said Zidane after thrashing Sevilla. Finally, Modric was the creator once again with eight minutes remaining, feeding substitute Gareth Bale to complete the comeback. "They reinforce the value of sport and engender significant national pride".

Real Madrid will be eyeing the Club World Cup trophy when they take on Brazilian side Gremio in the final on Saturday to become the first team to successfully defend the title.

"Just having Real Madrid here is wonderful, but to see them play Al Jazira in the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 is a huge boost for the whole country", commented Mohammed Jamal, a Real Madrid fan from the UAE.

  • Steve Townsend