Barcelona won the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time in three years on Sunday with a commanding victory over Brazilian side Santos.Lionel Messi scored twice to cap a brilliant performance and Cesc Fabregas and Xavi also got on the scoresheet in a one-sided contest in Yokohama.
Barcelona, who were without striker David Villa after he broke the shinbone in his left leg in their 4-0 semi-final victory over Al-Sadd. dominated from the outset and the only surprise was that they did not score more and took until the 17th minute to break the deadlock.
Messi had already had a shot saved by goalkeeper Rafael, with Thiago hitting the rebound straight at the goalkeeper, before opening the scoring in some style.
Xavi brilliantly controlled a ball which looked to be behind him before playing a superb pass into Messi, who conjured up a cheeky chip over the goalkeeper that found the net despite Bruno Rodrigo’s desperate attempt to clear it off the line.
Xavi then got on the scoresheet himself after controlling a cutback from Dani Alves with his first touch and shooting beyond Rafael with his second.
At the other end, Borges did manage to get a shot on target but saw his effort saved at the near post by Victor Valdes, and seconds later Barca were on the attack again with Fabregas seeing his shot come back off the upright.
The former Arsenal captain was not to be denied on the stroke of half-time however, stabbing in the loose ball after an Alves cross caused chaos in the Santos area.
With the result beyond doubt, Barca almost extended their lead in the first minute of the second half as Fabregas saw his shot deflected inches wide, while Messi then had an effort saved by the legs of Rafael.
There was a carbon copy at the other end as Neymar’s shot was blocked by Valdes, but that was a depressingly rare chance for the Brazilian side.
And Messi completed the rout in the 82nd minute when he was played through by an excellent pass from Alves.
Despite an uncharacteristically poor first touch, the Argentinian star still skipped around the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into the empty net.