Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale practice with Actual Madrid

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Real Madrid narrowly avoided embarrassment with a 2-1 win over Al-Jazira in the Club World Cup semifinals, a game in which the contentious VAR system and the referee jostled for the spotlight.

When asked if he planned to retire at Madrid, Ronaldo, who signed a new deal to 2021 with the club in 2016, said: "I would really like to, but things don't depend on me".

Ronaldo has now scored 15 goals in 20 appearances for Madrid this season despite a slow start in La Liga.

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The first-choice goalkeeper was forced off only six minutes into the second half but performed heroics to keep Real out during the opening period. Among them, seven shots were directed to the target but could not find the net.

Karim Benzema twice rattled the frame of the goal after that.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo goes down after sustaining an injury to his face. It was completely unfortunate. That particular strike at home to Borussia Dortmund also took him to 114 career goals in 146 Champions League games - another of his personal records, and came just 24 hours before he matched Messi by picking up a joint record fifth Ballon D'Or award.

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The Spanish side held their advantage until the final blast of the whistle, with the celebrations kicking off in the middle of the pitch as the valiant Champions League holders are set to add yet another trophy to their burgeoning cabinet.

The European champions, enjoying the backing of most neutrals at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, dominated the final as expected but Gremio's much more limited team still made their lives uncomfortable. The match had two goals disallowed by video review, one for each team.

Gremio qualified for the final by defeating Mexico's Pachuca 1-0 in the tournament's semi-final on Tuesday, December 12.

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I really think it's helped my heading game because I practiced this all the time with my dad. In the last nine game we won 7 games, drew one and lost one.

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