Barcelona win Fifa Club World Cup

Carles Puyol (centre) lifts the trophy
Puyol (centre) lifts the trophy to round off an incredible year for Barcelona

Barcelona were crowned Fifa Club World Cup winners when they thrashed Brazilian side Santos 4-0 in Japan.

The win capped a remarkable year for the Spanish side in which they also won the La Liga title, the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup.

Argentine Lionel Messi scored two impressive goals with Xavi and former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas also on target for Barcelona.

The win confirms Barcelona's standing as the best club team in the world.

"We played a complete game," captain Carles Puyol said. "It was a good game, an intense game and we're very happy with the result."

The match between the European and South American champions in Yokohama had been billed as a showdown between Messi, widely acknowledged as the best player in the world, and 19-year-old Brazilian star Neymar, who has been linked with a transfer to both Barca and Real Madrid.

But it was no contest - with Messi the star of match - and named the tournament's most valuable player - as Barcelona won the competition for the second time in three seasons.

His first goal was an exquisite chip and his second saw him skilfully round the Santos keeper Cabral.

Santos were better in the second half and Neymar should have scored when put through with only Victor Valdes to beat, but was denied by the Barcelona goalkeeper.

"Barcelona deserved to win. They are the best team in the world and we learned an important lesson," said Neymar.

Qatari team Al Sadd, who lost 4-0 to Barcelona in the semi-finals, beat Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol 5-3 on penalties to take third place at the annual intercontinental tournament.

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