Barcelona became the first club to lift the Club World Cup three times, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scoring in the 3-0 win over River Plate.
Messi also became the first player to score in three Club World Cup finals, as the Catalans completed an astonishing 2015. Barca now have the official title to secure their tag as the best team in world football right now.
The Argentine’s goal - a clever, flicked finish with the outside of the left foot - set Luis Enrique’s side on course for victory in Yokohama, with Barcelona lifting the Club World Cup just like they did in 2009 and 2011.
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Suarez was the driving force behind Barca’s win, though, finding the net twice to take his tally for the tournament to give goals in just two matches.
River Plate defended well for much of the contest, but had no real reply for the quality of their European opponents.

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez scores for Barcelona against River Plate in the Club World Cup final

Image credit: AFP

KEY EVENTS

19’ WHAT AN ASTONISHING SAVE! Iniesta tees up Messi for the shot 15 yards out, but Barovero gets down so quickly to make the diving save. That looked for all the world to be a goal.
37’ GOAL! River Plate 0 Barcelona 1: There's the breakthrough! Barcelona have the lead in Yokohama. Messi lets the ball run across his body and flicks a wonderful finish past the keeper.
51’ GOAL! River Plate 0 Barcelona 2: There's the second goal and there's clear daylight between the two teams! Busquets rolls through Suarez, who is through on goal and finishes into the bottom corner.
60’ CLEARED OFF THE LINE! Some Messi magic sees him dribble through the River Plate backline, but his scuffed shot is cleared off the line by Maidana! That would have been sensational.
62’ SHOULD THAT HAVE BEEN A PENALTY? Neymar shows off his tricks and flicks with a wonderful run through the River Plate defence. He's brought down in the box but the referee shakes his head.
63’ MESSI SHOULD HAVE SCORED! Well, I suppose he is human after all. Neymar sets up Messi for the clean shot on goal from 15 yards, but he drags his effort wide of the far post.
69’ GOAL! River Plate 0 Barcelona 3: And that will be that - and what a goal to secure it. Neymar picks out an astonishing cross into the box, and Suarez guides his header into the far corner of the net.
86’ OFF THE POST! Wooft! What a goal that would have been. Gonzalez jinks through a few challenges and smashes a shot at the target, but Bravo gets a touch to it to push on to the woodwork.

Barcelona celebrate winning the FIFA Club World Cup Final with the trophy

Image credit: AFP

KEY STATS

Leo Messi has scored in all three of the FIFA Club World Cup finals he played.
Against River Plate, Neymar assisted Messi for the first time in a competition other than La Liga this season.
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are now the joint-top scorers in the history of the Club World Cup.

TALKING POINT

Is it time to take the Club World Cup more seriously?
If you’d woken up early on Sunday morning to watch the Club World Cup final, you would have been left disappointed in the UK. The game wasn’t even shown on British TV, prompting discussion over how seriously the tournament is taken. But both River Plate and Barcelona were clearly keen to lift the trophy - so is it time the Club World Cup was regarded in a better light? Does it really deserve the derision it receives?

Barcelona forward Neymar congratulates Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (L) after his goal against River Plate during the Club World Cup football final in Yokohama

Image credit: AFP

MAN OF THE MATCH

Luis Suarez - Whilst Neymar and Lionel Messi pulled off the party tricks in the win over River Plate, it was Luis Suarez who was the driving force behind the result. His first goal only seemed to motivate him further, charging around the pitch and forcing the opposition into mistakes on the ball. He might not have the technical ability of his two strike partners at Barcelona, but his energy and determination is just as important - as well as his five goals in two games at the Club World Cup. He has truly found his place at the Catalan club.

PLAYER RATINGS

River Plate - Barovero 7, Mercado 5, Maidana 7, Balanta 7, Vangioni 5, Kranevitter 5, Ponzio 5, Sanchez 6, Viudez 6, Mora 5, Alario 6. Subs - Lucho 7, Driussi 5, Martinez 5.
Barcelona - Bravo 7, Alves 5, Pique 5, Mascherano 6, Alba 6, Busquets 7, Rakitic 6, Iniesta 5, Messi 7, Neymar 8, Suarez 9. Subs - Vermaelen 5, Roberto 5, Mathieu 5.
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