Barcelona came from behind to beat dour Estudiantes 2-1 after extra-time on in a one-sided World Club Cup final, with Lionel Messi chesting in the winning goal 10 minutes away from a penalty shootout.
Mauro Boselli had given the Argentines a shock lead, super— substitute Pedro and Messi turned the tables for defiant Barca.
The triumph crowns an astonishing year for Barca, the most memorable in their proud 110-year history. Josep Guardiola’s sumptuous side have won all six of the trophies that they have competed for, something of a record in world football.
This is their first ever world title. In 2006 they lost the final against Internacional, in 1992 against fellow Brazilians Sao Paulo.
Estudiantes won the title in 1968, with the infamous team coached by Osvaldo Zubeldia, then lost the 1969 and 1970 finals.
Barca dominated from start to finish in humid Abu Dhabi and were denied a possible penalty in the 33rd minute after Xavi had been felled by goalkeeper Damian Albil.
In the 38th minute Estudiantes went ahead, completely against the run of play, when lone striker Boselli headed in a clever centre from left-back Juan Manuel Diaz.
The one-way traffic continued in the second half, with Estudiantes predictably defending in depth. Little winger Pedro came off the Barca bench and twice came close to equalising.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic should have scored late on with a simple header that he made a mess off.
Just when the Argentines seemed to have weathered the Barca storm, with just two minutes left, Pedro made it 1-1 with a deft header after Gerard Pique had done well as an emergency centre-forward.
Pedro’s late equaliser knocked the stuffing out of Estudiantes and Barca’s winning goal in extra-time seemed to be just a question of time.
It came five minutes into the second period, when Messi got on the end of an excellent Dani Alves centre and cheekily scored with his chest.