Footy Times

FIFA Club World Cup: All you need to know about the tournament in Saudi Arabia

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Manchester City is set to face Urawa Red Diamonds in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia, following the Japanese team’s victory over Mexico’s Leon.

This matchup, scheduled for Tuesday, is part of a tournament that is witnessing its final edition in the current format, with FIFA confirming an expanded 32-team tournament starting in 2025.

The Club World Cup, an annual highlight in international men’s football, brings together the champions of the six continental confederations and the host nation’s league champions.

This year’s event, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has already seen significant matches, including Brazilian club Fluminense securing a spot in the semi-finals against Al Ahly, following their 3-1 win over Al-Ittihad.

The tournament structure is seeded, with an initial round featuring Al-Ittihad and Auckland, the winners of the 2023 OFC Champions League.

Following the early rounds, the semi-finals introduce European champions Manchester City and Copa Libertadores winners Fluminense, both of whom qualified directly for the last four.

The semi-finals are set for Monday and Tuesday, with the final and a third-place play-off scheduled for Friday, December 22.

The venues, King Abdullah Sports City and Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium, both in Jeddah, are equipped to host these high-profile matches.

Notably, King Abdullah Sports City has previously hosted major events like the 2018 Supercoppa Italiana final and significant boxing matches.

Reflecting on past winners, the last decade has seen European teams dominate, with Real Madrid winning last year’s final and holding the record for the most titles.

Since the start of the competition in 2000, 11 clubs have lifted the trophy, with eight from Europe and three from Brazil.

The tournament has witnessed memorable victories from teams like Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Internacional, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea.

As the FIFA Club World Cup progresses in Saudi Arabia, it continues to showcase the rich diversity and competitive spirit of global football, setting the stage for its evolution into a more expansive and inclusive format in the coming years.

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