Lionel Messi has outlined his journey from sickbed to three-time Club World Cup winner.
The Barcelona superstar missed his team’s semi-final triumph over Guangzhou Evergrande after being struck down with renal colic – a type of abdominal pain commonly caused by the kidney stones.
But Messi returned to Luis Enrique’s starting line-up for Sunday’s final against River Plate in Yokohama, opening the scoring before a Luis Suarez brace ensured Barca ran out 3-0 winners.
The Spanish and European champions are the first three-time winners of the global crown, adding this year’s success to titles collected in 2009 and 2011.
Messi is now the only player to score in three Club World Cup finals, and was relieved to be passed fit for Sunday’s match.
“There was no more pain and that was really important,” he told reporters.
“It was really horrible pain. I was practically the whole day in bed without being able to move.
“In the second half I felt my legs a little bit but the important thing was not to have any pain.”
The victory over River Plate means Barcelona swept the board in 2015, having also claimed La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League and European Super Cup glory.
Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Malaga on Sunday means the Catalan giants head into Christmas leading the way in Spain’s top flight once more and Messi is hungry for yet more success.
“I’m happy, happy for everything – happy to keep making history with this great club,” he added.
“Let’s hope we can just keep winning more, of course.
“It’s special because it’s the World Club Cup and we come out as the best team in the world once again. To win that for another year is really impressive.
“The more trophies we can win, the better. We know it’s more difficult every year.
“We’ll try to fight for everything like we do every season, we’re really excited about it.”