Injuries have prevented Real Madrid's star attacking trio of Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale from playing together for most of the season.
Ronaldo scored the only goal of the Club World Cup final against Gremio to win the tournament for the fourth time and become the all-time top scorer in the competition with seven goals. That particular strike at home to Borussia Dortmund also took him to 114 career goals in 146 Champions League games - another of his personal records, and came just 24 hours before he matched Messi by picking up a joint record fifth Ballon D'Or award.
They won La Liga, the Champions League, UEFA and Spanish Super Cup in a thrilling fashion after hitting top form in a four-month spell between April and August, but since then the European champions have faded, understandably worn out by a heavy schedule. "I need to listen to my body", said the Welshman.
He also scored in Madrid's 2-1 comeback win over Al Jazira in the semifinals. The numbers speak for themselves. "We played a very good game and deserved the victory".
"It was a very unusual first half".
Mercato : le Barça et l'Atlético Madrid veulent Rodrigo Hernández
Busquets n'a d'ailleurs pas de remplaçant naturel dans l'effectif blaugranas, Arda Turan ou André Gomes n'étant pas capables de " blanchir " les ballons comme lui.
"We played very well, with intensity, and were phenomenal".
Mexico's Pachuca beat Al Jazira 4-1 in the third-place match earlier Saturday.
Referee Cesar Ramos talk with Gremio players during the Club World Cup final soccer match between Real Madrid and Gremio at Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.
Real Madrid was tied with Al Jazira in a Club World Cup semifinal before Gareth Bale subbed into the match.
The hero for Madrid was Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo whose 53rd minute goal was enough to clinch the title for Madrid.
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