Lucas Vazquez revealed after Real Madridâ€™s Club World Cup success that he knew Cristiano Ronaldo would score in the final against Gremio.
Portugal forward Ronaldo, this year voted Best FIFA Menâ€™s Player and winner of the prestigious Ballon dâ€™Or award for a fifth time, got the only goal of the game after 53 minutes with a superb free-kick.
Substitute Vazquez told his clubâ€™s official website after the Abu Dhabi success: â€œBefore the game, I told Cristiano I was sure he was going to score and thatâ€™s why he ran to me for the celebration.
â€œWeâ€™re thrilled. Itâ€™s a team success and I hope we can improve on it in 2018.â€
The forwardâ€™s sentiments were echoed by his team-mates after Real retained their title, making sure of a fifth trophy of 2017 following success in LaLiga, the Champions League, Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
France defender Raphael Varane added: â€œIt has not been easy. You have to congratulate the whole team. Winning five titles is very complicated.
â€œWe know how difficult it is to win these finals, we are very happy. We know this team has talent and we will continue to fight to win more titles.â€
Germany international Toni Kroos said: â€œThis year has been a long journey, but we had a challenge and knew we could do this.â€
For fellow midfielder Casemiro, the latest success was a dream come true.
The Brazilian explained: â€œWhen I arrived at Real Madrid I was hungry to win titles. That was my dream, I wanted to write my story in the best possible fashion â€“ and Iâ€™ve won 10 already.
â€œIâ€™m motivated to keep working hard and I hope there are many more to come. Iâ€™d sign up now to finish every year just like this. Itâ€™s been a wonderful year.
â€œWe had to really dig deep to win this Club World Cup. We put in a complete performance and we have to congratulate the players because we were up against a good team in Gremio, who I know well from Brazil.â€
He added: â€œI never imagined Iâ€™d win so many trophies when I came to Real Madrid but I did dream about it, so thatâ€™s why itâ€™s such an honour to be part of this team.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a wonderful year and the dressing room has been a happy place. We need to keep making history and enjoying this team because weâ€™ve got a great squad.â€
Acknowledging the contribution of Ronaldo, the 25-year-old added: â€œItâ€™s a young but experienced group, with the best player in the world as well. We have to keep enjoying ourselves.â€
Source: By Press Association Sport staff