Isco is Real Madrid's most talented player - Marcelo

Isco is Real Madrid's most talented player - Marcelo

Eight minutes into the second-half, the lead was doubled as Bale netted his second after rounding the goalkeeper to slot into an empty net following a defensive error.

The win secures Real a place in Saturday's Club World Cup final.

Bale also became the third player to register a hat-trick at the tournament, Ronaldo and Barcelona's Luis Suarez the other players to do so. Keylor Navas has played four times in the competition over the last two years, but it will be the first bow for the Belgium worldwide who is looking to pick his first Club World Cup title.

"We are focusing on the game against Kashima so I see (Isco) and everyone else working with the enthusiasm that this game deserves, that they earned (by winning the Champions League)", said Solari.

Real Madrid coach Santi Solari rejected the idea he would be anxious by speculation that Jose Mourinho could return to Bernabeu, while vice-captain Marcelo said it was "not for me to decide" if the Portuguese manager should return to the La Liga giants in the future.

Casillas tweeted: "According to a Portuguese newspaper someone said that a player like me (37 years) is at the end of his career".

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez

Kashima did start brightly, Serginho finding room in the Madrid defence to get in a second-minute shot that was tipped wide by Thibaut Courtois, with Gen Shoji glancing a free header wide from the resulting corner.

They soon found their rhythm, however, with Karim Benzema twice shooting straight at the goalkeeper while Bale had an effort blocked after nipping between the Antlers central defenders.

Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Benzema all threatened Kwoun Sun-tae's goal before Bale brought some quality to proceedings with a well-placed finish following a neat one-two with Marcelo on the edge of the Kashima penalty area.

Three clear, Madrid were home and dry, and Bale departed on the hour, replaced by Marco Asensio while Casemiro, recovered from an ankle injury, came on to make his first appearance since Nov 12.

What time does Kashima Antlers vs Real Madrid start? Initially ruled offside, VAR showed Endo was level but a comeback never looked likely.

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