Lucas Vazquez revealed after Real Madrid’s Club World Cup success that he knew Cristiano Ronaldo would score in the final against Gremio.
Portugal forward Ronaldo, this year voted Best FIFA Men’s Player and winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for a fifth time, got the only goal of the game after 53 minutes with a superb free-kick.
Substitute Vazquez told his club’s official website after the Abu Dhabi success: “Before the game, I told Cristiano I was sure he was going to score and that’s why he ran to me for the celebration.
“We’re thrilled. It’s a team success and I hope we can improve on it in 2018.”
The forward’s sentiments were echoed by his team-mates after Real retained their title, making sure of a fifth trophy of 2017 following success in LaLiga, the Champions League, Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
France defender Raphael Varane added: “It has not been easy. You have to congratulate the whole team. Winning five titles is very complicated.
“We know how difficult it is to win these finals, we are very happy. We know this team has talent and we will continue to fight to win more titles.”
Germany international Toni Kroos said: “This year has been a long journey, but we had a challenge and knew we could do this.”
For fellow midfielder Casemiro, the latest success was a dream come true.
The Brazilian explained: “When I arrived at Real Madrid I was hungry to win titles. That was my dream, I wanted to write my story in the best possible fashion – and I’ve won 10 already.
“I’m motivated to keep working hard and I hope there are many more to come. I’d sign up now to finish every year just like this. It’s been a wonderful year.
“We had to really dig deep to win this Club World Cup. We put in a complete performance and we have to congratulate the players because we were up against a good team in Gremio, who I know well from Brazil.”
He added: “I never imagined I’d win so many trophies when I came to Real Madrid but I did dream about it, so that’s why it’s such an honour to be part of this team.
“We’ve had a wonderful year and the dressing room has been a happy place. We need to keep making history and enjoying this team because we’ve got a great squad.”
Acknowledging the contribution of Ronaldo, the 25-year-old added: “It’s a young but experienced group, with the best player in the world as well. We have to keep enjoying ourselves.”
Source: By Press Association Sport staff