A masterclass in the first-half was sufficient to secure Inter's third world crown against African champions Mazembe.
Les Corbeaux may have gone into the final having yet to concede a goal but Inter managed to breach their defence after just twelve minutes. Samuel Eto'o dinked a beautiful ball over the top of the Mazembe defence and Goran Pandev finished a fine move as he stroked the ball left-footed past Muteba Kidiaba. It was the breakthrough the game needed after what had been a lacklustre beginning.
The Nerazzurri's second goal arrived two minutes later like a London bus. Esteban Cambiasso released the evergreen Javier Zanetti down the right. The Argentine's cross was left by Goran Pandev for Eto'o, who showed just why he is one of the best goalscorers on the planet with a terrific low right-footed finish from the edge of the box beyond Kidiaba.
Substitute Jonathan Biabiany put the icing on the cake for Rafael Benitez's men with a third, clinching goal five minutes before the end. He timed his run to perfection, latched onto Dejan Stankovic's through ball and showed superb close control and composure to wrong-foot Kidiaba and stroke the ball into the vacant net.
Diego Milito slumped to the ground in utter disbelief as he contrived to spurn a glorious chance for Inter's third on 24 minutes. He glided in past the defence as the Mazembe offside-trap failed miserably but tried to be too deceptive and he shot straight at Kidiaba before Joel Kimwaki cleared. Milito repeated the dose three minutes before the break, again being denied by Kidiaba after a defence-splitting pass from Pandev.
Mazembe took a long while to get going however, they did spark into life somewhat after the hour mark. Julio Cesar, who had been a mere spectator for most of the game, was pressed into action as he flew out of his goal in superhero-like fashion to punch a Milota Kabangu cross clear. Inter survived with their clean sheet intact as the ensuing shot from substitute Deo Kanda was deflected behind.
Inter took their foot off the pedal towards the end and they were almost made to pay on 76 minutes. Dioko Kaluyituka unexpectedly found himself with an excellent chance to haul his side back into the final as he was alone with Julio Cesar but he stumbled to the ground as he rounded the giant Brazilian goalkeeper, leaving coach Lamine N'Diaye seething with frustration. The lone striker was again denied three minutes later when he shot straight at Julio Cesar after meeting Kabangu's pinpoint cross.
It was a deserved win for Inter, who were undoubtedly the class of the tournament but Mazembe will come away from Abu Dhabi with their heads held high and their reputation, and that of African football, enhanced.