ABU DHABI (AFP) - Barcelona left it late before capping a superb year by clinching the Club World Cup here on Saturday.
The Spanish giants needed extra time to beat Argentina's Estudiantes 2-1 and secure their sixth title of 2009.
Mauro Boselli had put Estudiantes ahead after 37 minutes only for Barca striker Pedro to grab the equaliser in the dying minutes of the game, with Argentina striker Lionel Messi nailing victory after 110 minutes.
The Spanish giants end the year on a high after following up last season's league, Champions League and Cup treble with their first title in this competition.
Barca dominated early play but met with stubborn opposition from the South American champions' defense.
Xavi thought he had earned Barcelona a penalty on 35 minutes, but goalkeeper Damian Albil's challenge on him went unpunished.
And it was Estudiantes who surprisingly took the lead two minutes later when Juan Manuel Diaz crossed from the left, and Boselli got in front of Eric Abidal to fire home a header.
Barcelona reacted immediately with Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost getting a touch on a Messi free-kick after 41 minutes but Albil proved solid ensuring Alejandro Sabella's team held their lead going into half time.
After the break an Ibrahimovic effort went just wide and the Swedish forward then had another shot blocked by Leandro Desabato.
Despite the best efforts of Ibrahimovic and Messi, Barcelona failed to break down their opponents, with an effort from the Ballon d'Or winner held by Albil after 70 minutes.
But their pressing paid off after 89 minutes when Gerard Pique fed substitute Pedro, who headed into the back of the net.
Barcelona dominated extra time before Messi scored the winner after chesting home an Dani Alves cross to ensure the Catalans end the year as the kings of world football.
Earlier, South Korea's Pohang Steelers beat Mexican club Atlante 4-3 on penalties to clinch third place at the Zayed Sports City.
|Coach: Sérgio Farias|
for Jung-Kyum Kim 54'
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