Cristiano Ronaldo expects to continue his “trajectory” and win more trophies at Real Madrid after scoring the winner against Gremio in yesterday’s Club World Cup final. The Portugal international, 32, curled home a free-kick as Real became the first team to win back-to-back titles. Ronaldo won a fifth Ballon d’Or earlier this month and crowned himself “the best player in history”.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “I am very happy, I remain very motivated to keep winning things at a collective and individual level.
“I still feel strong enough to continue my trajectory as a player and to win trophies, which is what I like most.”
Yesterday’s victory in Abu Dhabi was a record-equalling third Club World Cup win for Real, who also triumphed in 2014, matching Barcelona’s achievement. Real have now won five trophies in 2017 – the Champions League, La Liga, Uefa Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and now the Club World Cup.
It takes their overall total under Zinedine Zidane to eight since the former France international’s appointment as manager in January 2016.
For long periods of this game in Abu Dhabi, it looked like Brazilian side Gremio would frustrate Real Madrid and perhaps even pinch a victory as the Spanish giants became increasingly frustrated in their attempts to break down a disciplined defence.
Real dominated possession in the first half but only one of their 10 chances before the break was on target. They switched to attempting to find joy from long distance but efforts by Luka Modric, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were all wayward.
However, eight minutes into the second half Real were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal when Ronaldo was tripped and the Portugal international picked himself up to curl the ball through a gap in the wall and into the net.
It was Ronaldo’s fourth goal in three Club World Cup finals and extended his record of scoring in significant finals for Real Madrid, having also hit three goals in three Champions League finals and two goals in two Copa del Rey finals.