Barcelona win Club World Cup
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP):
Lionel Messi scored twice and Barcelona beat Brazil's Santos 4-0 yesterday to win their second Club World Cup in three years.
Al-Sadd beat Kashiwa Reysol of Japan 5-3 in a penalty shootout to take third place.
Messi, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas scored in the first half as the European champions won their 13th trophy under coach Pep Guardiola, solidifying their stature as the best club team in the world.
"The reason for our success is the effort of the players," Guardiola said. "We have very high-quality players and were able to display quality football. I am honoured to work with these great players."
The Champions League winners looked unstoppable in the first half and got on the scoresheet in the 17th minute when Messi latched on to a through ball from Xavi, controlled it with his right foot, switched to his left and calmly chipped over Santos goalkeeper Rafael Cabral.
Xavi doubled the lead just seven minutes later when he took a pass from Dani Alves and beat Cabral with a right-foot shot from 16 yards.
Fabregas put the game beyond reach in the final minute of the first half, picking up a rebound off a diving header by Thiago and beating Cabral from close range.
"It wasn't easy at all," Fabregas said. "Santos made it difficult at the beginning but we were fortunate to score quickly and then another one a few minutes later. If you say it was easy it'
s because we played a very serious game and were very professional and disciplined and that made it look easy."
The South American champions looked more lively after the break. Neymar had a good chance in the 57th as he broke free and found himself in the open with only Victor Valdes to beat, but was denied by the Barcelona goalkeeper.
Messi, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, completed the scoring in the 82nd when he took a pass from Alves, manoeuvred around Cabral and calmly slotted home.