"It's obviously a pleasure to play it because you can only do it if you've won the Champions League".
Al Jazira then came close to being TWO goals up against the European champions.
The Spanish side dominated the game but, not for the first time this season, showed remarkable profligacy in front of goal until Cristiano Ronaldo equalized in the second half and Gareth Bale hit a late victor 30 seconds after coming off the bench.
Al Jazira: Ali Khaseif 9 (out of 10), Salim Rashid 6, Mohamed Ayed 7, Musallem Fayez 7, Mohamad Al Attas 6, Yaqoub Al Hosani 6, Fares Juma 6, Khalifa Mubarak 6, Mbark Boussoufa 7, Ali Mabkhout 8, Romarinho 7.More news: Evangelists and Zionists praise President Trump at White House Hanukkah party
As a ploy to perhaps unsettle the Real Madrid forward, it appeared to work initially. "I'm happy with how everyone played".
"We are immensely proud of the support the people of the UAE have given throughout the tournament", said Aref Hamed Al Awani, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC).
Messi, his Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez and Cesar Delgado had all been level on five Club World Cup goals prior to Ronaldo's latest strike.
This will be Madrid's third final in the last four editions (2014 and 2016) and they will be gunning for their third Club World Cup title.
If Madrid win Wednesday's game, they will face Gremio in the final on Saturday after the Brazilians beat Pachuca of Mexico 1-0 after extra time in Tuesday's first semifinal in Al Ain.