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Official: Real Madrid win Club World Cup beating Al-Hilal



Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have been crowned the champions of the world after winning the Club World Cup final against Al-Hilal Saudi in the final. Los Blancos won 5-2 with goals from Vinicius Jr. and Federico Valverde in the first-half. Moussa Marega temporarily halved the deficit in the first half for the Saudi outfit.

Karim Benzema added the third in the 54th minute, four minutes after which Federico Valverde got his brace.

Luciano Vietto managed to get the Saudi outfit on the scoreboard again, but the gap increased to three again in the 69th minute through Vinicius Jr. Vietto did get another round anout the 80th minute, though.

The game was by no means an easy one for Madrid despite registering 60% possession and far more attempts on target. Al-Hilal got a fair few chances on the counter, and scored three past the UCL champs.

This is Madrid’s fourth trophy in the last 365 days. They had previously won La Liga, Champions League, and the UEFA Super Cup. It is the first time since 2018 they are getting back the Club World Cup bagdge badge on their jersey.

Their focus will now shift towards Elche in the league, hoping to close down the deficit on Barcelona. A two-legged tie against Liverpool in the UCL also awaits them, with the first game scheduled at Anfield on 21st February.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report



Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.

The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.

Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.

This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.

Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia

Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.

With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.

Ancelotti to go with a makeshift central defensive pairing vs Valencia (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.

Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.

What are Ancelotti’s other options?

Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.

The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.

Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.

Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.

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