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Barcelona wins Club World Cup, giving Messi, Iniesta 26th career trophy

Ivan Rakitic

FC Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic of Croatia holds up the team trophy as the team celebrates winning the final match against River Plate at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. FC Barcelona beat River Plate 3-0. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)


River Plate gave it a good run, but Barcelona was just too strong as they overwhelmed the South American champions 3-0 to win the Club World Cup.

The win is the club’s third in the competition, most by any single club. It also marks the 26th major trophy for both Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, passing Xavi’s mark of 25 as the most successful players in Barcelona history.

After both missing the semifinal against Guangzhou, Messi and Neymar both started this game. Messi scored the opener 36 minutes into the match, with River Plate defending heavily but valiantly. Luis Suarez added a second-half brace to put the game away. Gerard Pique was fantastic at the back, and Sergio Busquets was both a defensive rock and a creative force going forward.

The trophy means the club is on track for a possible five this season. They lost the Spanish SuperCup early on, but they are atop the La Liga table, through to the Champions League knockout stage, and into the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey.

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