FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015™
December 10 - December 20

FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015™

About

Barcelona secure historic third title in Japan

  • Barcelona win third Club World Cup title

  • Lionel Messi becomes first player to score in three separate Club World Cups

  • Luis Suarez finishes tournament as top scorer with five, claims adidas Golden Ball

The 2015 FIFA Club World Cup concluded with Barcelona defeating Argentina’s River Plate 3-0 in Yokohama in front of a 66,853 crowd, thanks to goals from Lionel Messi and a second-half double from Luis Suarez. It was a historic journey for the 2015 UEFA Champions League winners, who became the first club to be crowned world champions on three separate occasions, adding to their 2009 and 2011 triumphs.

Barça sealed their place in the final after their opening 3-0 victory against Guangzhou Evergrande, when Suarez broke new ground by becoming the first player to net a hat-trick in the competition’s history. The Uruguayan’s record-breaking antics did not stop there, however, as the 28-year-old went on to net twice in the final, making him the first player to score five goals in the competition’s history.

His team-mate Lionel Messi, who missed the semi-final due to abdominal pain, made a hero’s return in the final by bagging the opener. Messi now holds the accolade of becoming the first player to find the net in three separate FIFA Club World Cups.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20: Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez of Barcelona hold the Winner's Trophy after the FIFA Club World Cup Final match between River Plate and FC Barcelona at International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Auckland’s exit, Argentina invade Followers of the FIFA Club World Cup only had to wait nine minutes for the tournament’s opening goal, which came through an error from Jacob Spoonley. Auckland City’s No1 failed to make a regulation save, parrying the ball into the path of Yusuke Minagawa, who gratefully stabbed home. Substitute Shiotani put the game beyond any doubt 20 minutes from time with a deflected strike which went through the keeper’s legs, ensuring an early exit for the OFC champions.

Sanfrecce similarly strolled through their next game, a quarter-final against TP Mazembe in Osaka. With coach Hajime Moriyasu concerned about physical and mental fatigue, as well as injuries to key players, many neutrals felt this match was too close to call, but the J.League champions’ heavy legs made light work of their opponents as goals from Shiotani, Chiba and Asano set up a semi-final clash with River Plate.

Despite the ‘home’ advantage, the stadium was filled with supporters bedecked in red and white who had come from South America. They brought their songs, they brought their banners, they brought their passion. Ultimately they were rewarded with a win thanks to Lucas Alario’s 72nd-minute goal, but the Copa Libertadores winners did not have things their own way. On several occasions, they were saved by Marcelo Barovero who produced stunning stops to help send his side through to the final.

OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 16:  River Plate fans before the FIFA Club World Cup semi final match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and River Plate at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 16, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Asians impress, Barça stroll Barcelona’s qualifier for the semi-finals was their UEFA Champions League success over Juventus, but Guangzhou’s progression was even more dramatic than the Europeans’ 3-1 win in Berlin back in May.

A goal down against CONCACAF champions Club America in the quarter-final with ten minutes to go, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s substitutes combined to devastating effect. First Lin Gao's excellent hold-up play and cute lay-off allowed Long Zheng to score the equaliser, and then Yu Hanchao's delivery from a corner kick was inch-perfect for Paulinho to score in the final minute of added time.

Scolari urged his players to ‘dare to dream’ and believe in the build-up to the game, but found the Spanish side simply too much on a chilly evening in Yokohama, in a game that will be remembered for Suarez’s hat trick. Indeed, the Uruguayan’s treble was the first in global club competition since Pele’s in Santos’ famous 5-2 win over Benfica back in 1962.

The curtain raiser to the final saw Scolari given a taste of his own medicine as Hajime Moriyasu’s changes spurred Sanfrecce Hiroshima to come from behind. After Brazilian striker Paulinho opened the scoring for Scolari’s men, two second-half goals from Douglas ensured Sanfreece Hiroshima won the bronze in the match for third place, before Barcelona’s showdown with River Plate in the final.

The stats Teams: 7 When: 10-20 December 2015 Final: Barcelona 3-0 River Plate Games: 8 Goals: 21 (average of 2.63 per game) Total attendance: 272,312 (average of 34,039 per game)

MATCHES

Tournament News

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Barcelona players and coaching staff celebrate as captain Andres Iniesta of Barcelona lifts the trophy, following their 3-0 victory during the FIFA Club World Cup Final between River Plate and FC Barcelona at the International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Barcelona players and coaching staff celebrate as captain Andres Iniesta of Barcelona lifts the trophy, following their 3-0 victory during the FIFA Club World Cup Final between River Plate and FC Barcelona at the International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  (L-R) Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta of Barcelona celebrate with the trophy following their team's 3-0 victory during the FIFA Club World Cup Final between River Plate and FC Barcelona at the International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Dani Alves of Barcelona celebrates with the trophy following his team's 3-0 victory during the FIFA Club World Cup Final between River Plate and FC Barcelona at the International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Paulinho of Guangzhou Evergrande FC celebrates to the fans after scoring during the FIFA Club World Cup 3rd Place Match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Paulinho of Guangzhou Evergrande celebrates after scoring during the FIFA Club World Cup 3rd Place Match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Guangzhou Evergrande FC fans show their support
during the FIFA Club World Cup 3rd Place Match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Paulinho of Guangzhou Evergrande FC celebrates his goal  during the FIFA Club World Cup 3rd Place Match match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13:  Kazuhiko Chiba of Sanfrecce Hiroshima celebrates after scoring during the the FIFA Club World Cup Quarter Final match between TP Mazembe and Sanfrecce Hiroshima at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13:  Kazuhiko Chiba of Sanfrecce Hiroshima celebrates his goal with Hisato Sato during the FIFA Club World Cup Quarter Final match between TP Mazembe and Sanfrecce Hiroshima at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13:  Thomas Ulimwegu of TP Mazembe fires in a shot during the the FIFA Club World Cup Quarter Final match between TP Mazembe and Sanfrecce Hiroshima at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13: (Editors Note: This image has been turned black and white) Salif Coulibaly and Roger Assale of  TP Mazembe walk off at half time during the FIFA Club World Cup Quarter Final match between TP Mazembe and Sanfrecce Hiroshima at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13:  Paulinho of Guangzhou Evergrande FC celebrates with team mate Zhang Linpeng after scoring the winning goal during the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015 quarter final between Club America and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13:  Guangzhou Evergrande FC celebrate with coach Luis Felipe Scolari centre after Paulinho's winning goal during the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015 quarter final between Club America and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13:  Andres Andrade of Club America slumps to the floor after his team's defeat in the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015 quarter final between Club America and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 13:  Zheng Long of Guangzhou Evergrande FC celebrates with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at the end of the FIFA Club World Cup quarter final between the Club America and Guangzhou Evergrande FC at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Yusuke Minagawa of Sanfrecce Hiroshima celebrates after scoring a  goal during the FIFA Club World Cup: Play-off match for the  quarter final between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 10, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Yusuke Minagawa of Sanfrecce Hiroshima scores his teams first goal during the FIFA Club World Cup: Play-off match for the  quarter final between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 10, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Yusuke Minagawa of Sanfrecce Hiroshima celebrates after scoring during the FIFA Club World Cup: Play-off match for the quarter final between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 10, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 10:  Ryan De Vries of Aucklnad City FC is challenged by Yoshifumi Kashiwa of Sanfrecce Hiroshima during the FIFA Club World Cup: Play-off match for the  quarter final between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City FC at International Stadium Yokohama on December 10, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Tournament News

SAITAMA, SAITAMA - APRIL 05: Bezerra Maciel Junior (Paulinho) #8 of Guangzhou Evergrande in action during the AFC Champions League Group H match between Urawa Red Diamonds and Guangzhou Evergrande at the Saitama Stadium on April 5, 2016 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

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YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20: The shirt of Lionel Messi is laid out in the Barcelona dressing room ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015 Final between River Plate and FC Barcelona at International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015

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OSAKA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 16: Gabriel Mercado of River Plate kicks the ball as Sho Sasaki of Sanfrecce Hiroshima defends during the FIFA Club World Cup semi final match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and River Plate at Osaka Nagai Stadium on December 16, 2015 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Amilcar Orfali/LatinContent/Getty Images)

FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015

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YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 20:  Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the FIFA Club World Cup Final between River Plate and FC Barcelona at the International Stadium Yokohama on December 20, 2015 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015

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