Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a hat-trick as Real Madrid survived a colossal scare to beat Japan’s Kashima Antlers 4-2 and win the Club World Cup on Sunday.
A Gaku Shibasaki double threatened one of football’s greatest shocks after Karim Benzema had given Real an early lead in Yokohama. But Ronaldo equalised from the penalty spot before pouncing twice in extra time to give the Spanish giants their second world title in three years and fifth in total.
The victory extended Real’s club-record unbeaten run to 37 matches in all competitions, while French coach Zinedine Zidane surpassed Fabio Capello’s record for their best start to a season.
Kashima Shibasaki then equalised and later put Antlers ahead in the 44th and 52nd minutes respectively.
Kashima’s lead was short-lived, however, as Ronaldo restored parity from the spot after Lucas Vazquez was clattered by Shuto Yamamoto.
Ronaldo, who scooped his fourth Ballon d’Or last week, put Real back in front with a clinical low finish eight minutes into extra time after a deft pass from Benzema.
And the Portuguese superstar completed his hat-trick — the first in a Club World Cup final — six minutes later with another poacher’s strike to break Japanese hearts.