Millennium Post

Messi, Suarez propel Barca to 3rd world title

Lionel Messi marked his return from illness with a brilliant goal as Barcelona beat Argentina’s River Plate 3-0 to capture a record third Club World Cup on Sunday.

The Spanish giants welcomed back Messi after a bout of kidney stones and the mercurial Argentine scored with a clinical finish on 36 minutes, before a lethal Luis Suarez double destroyed River’s hopes in a spiky Yokohama final.

“We came here to win the title and it was important to get the job done,” said the prolific Suarez, who picked up the player of the tournament and golden boot awards after finishing with five goals.

“Leo’s goal opened up the game and in the second half we controlled things and had more chances,” added the Uruguayan, who has struck 24 goals in 24 games this season, including 17 in his last 11.

Neymar, himself returning to the side after a groin strain, was instrumental in Barcelona’s opener, climbing to knock down a Dani Alves cross for Messi to steer past River goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero with a deft flick of his left boot.

Suarez, who scored a hat-trick in Barca’s 3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande, scored a second with a fierce low drive four minutes into the second half. The former Liverpool striker grabbed his second of the night when he dispatched a thumping header past Barovero after a pinpoint cross from Neymar. 
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