As it happened: Real Madrid beat Al Ain in Fifa Club World Cup final

Proceedings start at 8.30pm at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, with the third-place play-off between River Plate and Kashima Antlers starting the day's action at 5.30pm

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10.47pm: World Champions!!

The moment Real Madrid lifted the Club World Cup trophy...

10.30pm: Deserved praise for Al Ain

Congratulations to Real Madrid: worthy champions for a third successive year. But no team has brought more excitement or drama to the tournament than host club Al Ain. They fought back from 3-0 down in their play-off against Team Wellington, they crushed African champions Esperance de Tunis in the quarter-finals, then stunned South America's finest, River Plate, in the semi-finals.

As such, Al Ain deserve all the praise heading their way.

10.25pm: Real Madrid create Club World Cup history

Real Madrid are now the most successful team in Club World Cup history - becoming the first side to win three titles in a row. They also stand alone on four titles overall.

The National's Paul Radley is at Zayed Sports City Stadium. Here is his on the whistle report.

Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Final - Real Madrid v Al Ain - Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 22, 2018  Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring their third goal  REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

10.19pm: GOAL! Real Madrid 4 Al Ain 1

Real Madrid restore their three-goal lead as Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior forces an own goal.

10.13pm: GOAL! Real Madrid 3 Al Ain 1

The UAE champions pull back a consolation goal with four minutes remaining, Tsukasa Shiotani with the finish.

10.06pm: GOAL! Real Madrid 3 Al Ain 0

Real Madrid's domination is rewarded with another goal as captain Sergio Ramos rises to head home from a corner in the 78th minute. Game over, now, and it's just a matter of time before Real collect their third successive Club World Cup title.

epa07245625 Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid scores a goal during FIFA Club World Cup 2018 final match between Real Madrid and Al Ain FC in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 22 December 2018.  EPA/MAHMOUD KHALED

9.55pm: Current Al Ain mood...

9.47pm: GOAL! Real Madrid 2 Al Ain 0

Another stunning goal from the European champions, this time Marcos Llorente firing home a low half volley on the hour. Al Ain will need to produce something remarkable from here.

Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Final - Real Madrid v Al Ain - Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 22, 2018  Real Madrid's Marcos Llorente scores their second goal   REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

9.17pm: Al Ain still well in the match

Half-time here at Zayed Sports City Stadium, and Al Ain are still well in the match. As expected, Madrid are dominant and thus deservedly 1-0 up, with host goalkeeper Khalid Essa doing his best to seal that player of the tournament award. Al Ain need to get Marcus Berg and Caio into the game more. Worth remembering this represents the UAE champions' sixth match in 19 days. Big ask for next 45 minutes. John McAuley

8.44pm: GOAL! Real Madrid 1 Al Ain 0

Moments after nearly conceding, Real Madrid go up the other end and score. A fine, curling finish from Luka Modric in the 14th minute.

Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Final - Real Madrid v Al Ain - Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 22, 2018  Real Madrid's Luka Modric scores their first goal   REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

8.15pm: Mission Possible?

With just 15 minutes until kick-off, now is the ideal chance to read John McAuley's piece on Al Ain and their dream of shocking the world.

 Chris Whiteoak / The National

7.45pm: Team news for the final

Al Ain make only one change to the side that defeated River Plate in the semi-final, with Rayan Yaslem coming in for Ahmed Barman.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have gone with their big guns again, with Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all starting. Isco and Casemiro take their place on the bench.

7.24pm: Full-time - River Plate finish third

After the disappointment of losing in the semi-final, River Plate depart Abu Dhabi on a positive note thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Kashima Antlers. Bruno Zuculini broke the deadlock with a towering header, before Gonzalo Martinez doubled River's lead. Rafael Borre's penalty made it 3-0, and the rout was completed deep in injury time when Martinez grabbed his second. A fine performance from the South American champions.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 22, 2018: River Plate's Gonzalo Martinez celebrates his goal during the match between River Plate and Kashima Antlers at the Fifa Club World Cup 3rd/4th place playoff. Saturday the 22nd of December 2018 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

7.22pm: GOAL! River Plate 4 Kashima Antlers 0

Gonzalo Martinez has his second and what a goal it was! Martinez fired home from the edge of the area into the top corner. It is officially a rout now.

7.15pm: GOAL! River Plate 3 Kashima Antlers 0

Rafael Borre slots home from the penalty spot in the 88th minute to ensure victory for the South American champions.

7pm: GOAL! River Plate 2 Kashima Antlers 0

River double their lead on 73 minutes through Gonzalo Martinez. That should be job done now for the Argentines.

6.50pm: Tifo boys en route...

Al Ain's tifos have been one of the star attractions of the tournament, and we can't wait to see what they have in store for the final.

John McAuley / The National

6.20pm: River Plate lead at the break

Bruno Zuculini's 24th minute header separates the two teams at half-time. River Plate 45 minutes away from victory.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 22, 2018: River Plate's Bruno Zuculini scores during the match between River Plate and Kashima Antlers at the Fifa Club World Cup 3rd/4th place playoff. Saturday the 22nd of December 2018 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

5.56pm: GOAL! River Plate 1 Kashima Antlers 0

Bruno Zuculini scores in the 24th minute to hand the Copa Libertadores champions the lead at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 22, 2018: River Plate's Bruno Zuculini scores during the match between River Plate and Kashima Antlers at the Fifa Club World Cup 3rd/4th place playoff. Saturday the 22nd of December 2018 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

5pm: Third-place play-off teams announced

Before the big one at 8.30pm, River Plate and Kashima Antlers do battle for the bronze medal at 5.30pm. Here are the teams...

4.50pm: How they got here

Al Ain booked their place in the Club World Cup final with a remarkable penalty shootout win over Argentina's River Plate, before Gareth Bale's hat-trick led Real Madrid past Kashima Antlers in their semi-final.

Here's how both clubs got to the final:

4.20pm: Eyes on the prize

3.35pm: The difference makers

Who will be the Club World Cup final hero(es)? John McAuley picks five players each from Al Ain and Real Madrid who could prove the difference-makers. Scroll through the photo gallery below by clicking on the arrows, or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.

3pm History will be made

So, here we are. Ten days after the 2018 Fifa Club World Cup began we are down to the final, and what a tournament decider it will be.

European champions Real Madrid, bidding for a record fourth title in the competition and third in a row, take on Al Ain, representing the host nation, who have shown tremendous spirit in their run to the final.

No side from outside Europe or Brazil has ever won the Club World Cup so Al Ain would be creating history if Zoran Mamic's side can prevail.

The final, at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, starts at 8.30pm. If the sides finish level then there will be 30 minutes of extra time, and then penalties.

Before that there is the third-place play-off at 5.30pm with Argentina's River Plate taking on Japanese side Kashima Antlers.

Stick with us on this blog for all the build-up, news, and match action from Abu Dhabi!

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Read more

Real Madrid v Al Ain: The players who can decide the Fifa Club World Cup final

Santiago Solari vows Real Madrid will not use 'wrong tools' against Al Ain in Fifa Club World Cup final

Mission Possible: The dream can become reality for Al Ain against Real Madrid in Fifa Club World Cup final

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