Barcelona are the new Club World Champions, after a sensational performance and 4-0 victory against the South American champions, Santos. The Brazilian side had high hopes for this match, but Barcelona played one of their best games in recent memory and didn’t give them a chance. The Catalan side have now won 13 trophies out of 16 in the Pep Guardiola era, further cementing their status as one of the game’s all-time great squads.
Here are the ratings for today’s match:
Victor Valdés – 7.5
Had a very calm match overall, but made a couple of great saves in the second half to secure Barca’s comfortable lead.
Éric Abidal – 7.5
Had a very calm game as well, but always looked composed at the back and helped the team in the offensive process as well, with his usual great distribution from the back.
Carles Puyol – 8
Made one key interception from Ganso and was always well-positioned, leading Barca’s defense as usual.
Gerard Piqué – 7
Was a bit shaky at the back at times, even if Santos didn’t create much. He got a yellow card for a foul on Neymar and was replaced after 56 minutes.
Daniel Alves – 8.5
Had a brilliant game during the entire 90 minutes. He covered the entire right flank with apparently limitless energy and assisted two of Barcelona’s goal. Definitely one of his best matches this season.
Sergio Busquets – 8.5
Another great performance from Busquets. He didn’t miss a single pass throughout the entire game and easily marked Ganso out of the game.
Xavi Hernandez – 9
A monstrous performance, surely the Man of the Match along with Messi. His control leading to the first goal was nothing short of sublime and he scored Barcelona’s second. He also pulled the string during the entire game in the same flawless way he always does. He has now won 19 trophies as a Barcelona player and he doesn’t look like stopping here.
Andrés Iniesta – 8.5
Not his greatest performance, but he didn’t need to force much today. He still had a great game, making lots of dangerous runs and creating a lot of space to his teammates.
Cesc Fabregas – 8.5
A very good performance and another goal, albeit a pretty easy finish. He has been improving with each passing day and finding new ways to be dangerous. His movement is improving at a fast rate, making him an even more important player to this team.
Thiago Alcantara – 7.5
Played on the wing (far from his favorite position) but did relatively well, even if he was not as involved as he’d have liked. He still helped Barcelona keep possession and showed impeccable passing.
Lionel Messi – 9
The best player in the world proved once again why he holds that status. He has become the second player, after Pedro, ever to score in six competitions in the same year, and the first to both score and assist in those six competitions. He scored twice today and made several amazing dribbling runs; he was pretty much unstoppable and was deservedly named the best player of the tournament.
Javier Mascherano – 7.5
Came in for Piqué with 35 minutes left to play and put in a very good shift, even if he was beaten once by Neymar, in what could resulted in a consolation goal for Santos.
Pedro Rodriguez – 6
Came in for Thiago in the last ten minutes and didn’t have much time to make an impact, although he did run his heart out as usual.
Fontás – 6
Also came in towards the end and had no time to really make an impact. He didn’t touch the ball more than a few times.
These ratings have been written by Manuel Traquete. He is a lifelong FC Barcelona supporter and a freelance football writer who shares his thoughts @Manueltraquete