In what could only be described as a hard-fought display, Bayern Munich emerged victorious in a 1-0 win over finalists Tigres UANL to grab their second-ever Club World Cup. The Bavarians created a plethora of unfruitful chances until Benjamin Pavard struck the match-winning goal that brought his side sextuple glory. Vice-captain Thomas Muller’s absence was strongly felt but in the end, Hansi Flick’s team came through and is only the second European club to win six trophies in a year. Here are our player awards from the finale:
Jersey swap: Luis Enrique Quiñones and André-Pierre Gignac
In a game where most of the Tigres attacks were effectively dealt with by Bayern defense, Quiñones and Gignac were the two standout performers for the Mexican side. Quiñones, in particular, provided a stiff challenge to Pavard and Sule, and even though Gignac resorted to dirty fouls, the duo fought relentlessly over the 90 minutes.
Der Kaiser: Niklas Sule
Although looking slightly off-balance at times, Niklas Sule was an immovable wall for the majority of the match. Bayern’s gentle giant dominated Tigres’ physically strong attackers and managed to cut-off service for them. The 25-year-old won five challenges and executed five long balls while filling in for veteran Jerome Boateng. His stable presence was especially essential in the initial phase of the match when right-back Benjamin Pavard looked to be struggling to find his feet.
Der Fußballgott: David Alaba
An outstanding left-back-center-back and an equally crafty midfielder, David Alaba showed that he can do it all by delivering another satisfying performance from central-midfield. Deployed alongside Joshua Kimmich, the Austrian showcased his distinct interpretation of the role.
Be it his darting attacking runs, passing sequences with Kimmich, Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies or the way he shielded defense, Bayern’s #27 remained solid throughout the course of the match and never looked like he was playing his third game in midfield since 2016.
Der Bomber: Kingsley Coman
It wasn’t a performance up to his usual standards but “tone-setter” Kingsley Coman grew into his position as the game went on. Completing six out of six dribbles and drawing in two fouls for his side, the Frenchman was a constant menace for Luis Rodríguez and co., especially after the commencement of the second-half. Mr. Lisbon additionally took three shots for himself and his ceaseless 1v1 attempts were simply too much for the Tigres defenders.
Meister of the Match: Alphonso Davies
In a Bayern lineup that had three wingers and the Robert Lewandowski on the field, Alphonso Davies proved to be our most prolific attacker of the game. The Canadian constantly pierced through Tigres’ defense, often outmuscling those who came his way and carrying the ball into the box using his splendid technique. But his performance wasn’t simply limited to attack. The 19-year-old made four tackles, two interceptions and was rarely caught out of position on the defensive side of things.
The trifecta of Davies, Coman and Alaba turned out to be the focal point, as the majority of the team’s effectual plays came from the left-side of the pitch. Playing against one of his favorite players Gignac, Davies proved to be the most influential Bavarian, exacting revenge on Tigres for the CONCACAF Champions League defeat with Vancouver Whitecaps four years ago.