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Ronaldo's hat-trick inspires Real Madrid to win Club World Cup

xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-19 10:46

Ronaldo's hat-trick inspires Real Madrid to win Club World Cup

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo poses with the trophy after beating Kashima Antlers 4-2 to win the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Dec 18, 2016. [Photo/IC]

YOKOHAMA, Japan - Cristiano Ronaldo proved to the world he was the best footballer by scoring three goals to gift Real Madrid a 4-2 victory after 120 minutes battle with Kashima Antlers to win the Club World Cup here on Sunday.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring for the European champions, Gaku Shibasaki scored twice to put the Japanese side ahead, only to see Ronaldo converted a penalty to pull level in regular time.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said it was the "self belief" that made the team come from behind to win at last.

"Sometimes we struggle, sometimes we are not able to play what we want to play," said the 44-year-old coach.

"The good thing is we always believe in ourselves, always be positive and believe you can do it," he added.

Real Madrid started early as Benzema tapped the loose ball into the back of the net in the 9th minute after Luka Modric's shot was parried out by keeper Hitoshi Sogahata.

Kashima nearly equalized in the 11th minute, only to see Mitsuo Ogasawara's long-ranger off the bar.

In the 30th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo hit the free-kick into the wall and hammered the loose ball into the sky.

The Japanese side pulled level in the 45th minute as Gaku Shibasaki smashed the ball past keeper Keylor Navas and it was the first goal scored for an Asian club in Club World Cup history.

It was Shibasaki again in the 52nd minute who put the J league champions ahead. The Japanese skipper fired a long range shot which sent Navas no chance and found the bottom corner.

In the 58th minute, Lucas Vazquez was fouled inside the box and Ronaldo converted the penalty and Real Madrid was back on track.

The Japanese side missed the ultimate chance to embrace a historic home victory, only to see Yasushi Endo shoot wide in the final second of injury time and the match went into extra time.

In the 97th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo sent the ball home with his left foot after Benzema's pinpoint pass to put Real Madrid ahead again.

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