There was no doubt that the champions of Europe deserved to win the match and consequently the tournament with an immaculate all-round display.
The win capped a great year for Barcelona that saw them win a record 50 game and score an unprecedented 176 goals, two new club records
Remarkably the MSN forward line of Messi, Suarez and Neymar scored 76% (134) of Barcelona’s 176 goals in 2015.
With the MSN back at full fitness for the Club World Cup Final the outcome was rarely in doubt. Alarm bells began to ring for River as early as the 12th minute. Andres Iniesta played a great ball to Messi inside the box. He produced a great shot on the turn which forced an equally good stop from Marcelo Barovero who saved low to his left. The keeper was called into action midway through the half when he claimed Dani Alves’ shot comfortably.
Missing from the semi-final with abdominal pain, Messi’s impact grew as the game went on. His well-struck free-kick from 35 yards, was expertly turned away for a corner. However, Barovero was powerless to stop the opening goal nine minutes before half-time.
Dani Alves swung in a cross from the right which Neymar headed into the path of Messi. He turned Jonatan Maidana the wrong way before poking the ball home. However, the goal did not silence the River Plate fans who gave tremendous backing to their team throughout the match.
Suarez almost made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time after Messi played a perfect pass through to the Uruguayan. He ran on to it well to split the defence, but when faced with the onrushing Barovero, he fired wide.
However, the forward made amends four minutes after the break when this time he made no mistake after being presented with a one-on-one opportunity. Great credit must go to Sergio Busquets who won possession before playing a perfect ball for the former Liverpool man.
After the goal, Barcelona threatened to run riot. Neymar teed up Messi on two separate occasions. Both should have yielded goals. The first chance saw Messi fire tamely at Barovero and the second saw him fire wide when he could have easily squared to Suarez.
Another lovely move from Barça made it three. A fantastic ball from Neymar found Suarez in the box and he headed home for his fifth goal in the tournament in just two games.
River Plate had their first chance of the half when Bravo tipped the ball acrobatically over from Lucas Alario’s header. The Chilean had to be at his best in the closing stages to tip a powerful drive from Osvaldo Martinez on to the post. The team and their fans did not show wanting, but they fell short on this occasion.