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Real Madrid eye Club World Cup retention to cap trophy-laden year

Real Madrid eye Club World Cup retention to cap trophy-laden year”

However, Ronaldo is hopeful of teaming up with Benzema and Bale again as Madrid kick-off their FIFA Club World Cup campaign against Emirati outfit Al Jazira in Wednesday's semi-final.

Cue Gareth Bale. Coming on the 80th minute, just seconds later he put Real Madrid 2-1 ahead with a low finish inside the box.

Despite Real dominating the match at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, it was the hosts who took a shock 41st-minute lead through Romarinho.

With the win Real Madrid go through to Saturday's final in which they will play Brazilian side Gremio.

- Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) with a typically witty take on the unlikely scoreline.

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Madrid are two-time winners of the Club World Cup and Ronaldo talked up the importance of the competition for the European and Spanish champions.

Having initially appeared to rule out the goal and then given it, Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci then chalked it off for good having decided Benzema, who was in an offside position, was interfering despite not touching the ball.

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. Words can not express how happy we are as fans to see our team play Real Madrid.

The Portuguese, who was recently named the world player of the year for a joint-record fifth time, became the top scorer in the history of Club World Cup by netting for the sixth time in three separate tournament appearances.

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