Yesterday, the final intercontinental club football event of the year kicked off in Abu Dhabi.
The 2018 FIFA Club World Cup is the 15th edition of the FIFA-organised international club football tournament. Over the next 9 days, champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations will play against each other for the world title. These six clubs are:
- Real Madrid
- Team Wellington
- Kashima Antlers
- ES Tunis
- River Plate
- Al Ain
The seventh team is the national league champion from the host country.
It may not be the most popular football competition in the world but this year’s edition has gotten off to a flying start.
In the first round, Al Ain and Team Wellington played out a 3-3 draw. Being a knockout competition, both sides had to go to penalties, which the home side won. Despite finishing the game with a man less than their counterparts from Oceania, Al Ain came from a 3-0 first half deficit to win the game.
With that win, they will now go on to face Esperance of Tunisia in the quarter-finals. This will be the first of two games to be played at this stage. Remember that ES Tunis got the better of Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final some weeks back.
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In the second quarter-final game, AFC champions, Kashima Antlers, will take on Chivas Guadalajara. These quarter-final games will be played on the 15 of December. After this round of games, the “bigger boys” will step into the competition.
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On the 18th of December, River Plate will take on the winner of the ES Tunis/Al Ain game in the first semi-final game. Remember they earned the right to feature in this tournament after winning the second leg of their Copa Libertadores fixture against Boca Juniors.In the other semi-final fixture, Real Madrid will start their title defense when they face the winner of the Kashima Antlers/Chivas Guadalajara game.
No doubt, the two biggest clubs in this competition are the favorites. Real Madrid and River Plate are the two sides tipped to win the competition.
But with Real Madrid’s faltering form in recent times, it seems like the Copa Libertadores champs are the team to beat in Abu Dhabi this December. What do you think? Which team do you think will go all the way to the final? Which team are you backing?
Leave us your comments and share your thoughts with us.