Cristiano Ronaldo delighted as Real Madrid's CWC win ends 'dream year'
Cristiano Ronaldo hailed a "perfect year" after his hat trick helped Real Madrid come from behind to beat Kashima Antlers in the Club World Cup final in Yokohama.
Madrid won 4-2 after extra time, with their Japanese opponents having led 2-1 at one stage thanks to midfielder Gaku Shibasaki's brace.
But Ronaldo equalised from the penalty spot and completed his treble in extra time as Zinedine Zidane's side turned the match around.
And the 31-year-old, who won a fourth Ballon d'Or following a year that saw him lift both the Champions League and European Championship trophies, told TV Espana: "It has been an impressive year, a dream year.
"I did not expect to win all this. Three goals in a final, another trophy with Real Madrid -- I am very happy."
Ronaldo added that he would not have achieved so much success without the help of his Bernabeu colleagues.
"There is always more expected of Cristiano, and I always try to do it," he said.
"I must thank all my teammates, as without them I would not have won the personal trophies I have won."
Ronaldo said Madrid had been surprised by outsiders Kashima, adding: "We did not expect them to play so well. But finals are like this -- you must suffer.
"We wanted this trophy a lot, and have ended the year in the best way. We are very happy."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan