The Catalan striker thrust his finger in the air before pumping his fist in celebration after scoring in the 78th minute. Messi had gone scoreless in his previous four appearances after being sidelined for five games with injuries.
Real Madrid lift the FIFA trophy for a record fourth time after thrashing local side in Abu Dhabi with the help of impressive distance strikes in either half from midfielders Luka Modric and Marcos Llorente.
Santiago Solari, Real Madrid's B team coach, has been temporarily put in charge until a replacement is found for Julen Lopetegui.
Real Madrid were playing their first competitive game since all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo left and Julen Lopetegui succeeded Zinedine Zidane as coach.
The Spanish coach's Julen Lopetegui sacking came two days before their opening World Cup match against Portugal and a mere 24 hours after Lopetegui appointment as Real Madrid coach was announced.
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