2023 at a glance

Real Madrid win their fifth FIFA Club World Cup™ title

Real Madrid beat Al Hilal to continue European dominance

Real Madrid won a record fifth FIFA Club World Cup™ title, beating Asian representatives from Saudi Arabia Al Hilal 5-3 in the final. The tournament was staged in Morocco from 1 to 12 February 2023, having been pushed back from its usual December slot because of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The Spanish side overpowered Egypt’s Al Ahly 4-1 in the semi-finals after a goal by Vinícius Júnior – later voted the tournament’s best player – gave them the breakthrough three minutes before half- time. Meanwhile, two first-half penalties from Salem Al-Dawsari helped Al Hilal to a 3-2 win over South American champions Flamengo in the other semi-final. In an entertaining final, Vinícius Júnior and Federico Valverde scored twice each, with Karim Benzema adding a fifth for Real Madrid, while the Saudi side replied with a brace from Luciano Vietto and a goal from Moussa Marega. Real Madrid’s win saw Carlo Ancelotti equal Pep Guardiola’s record of three FIFA Club World Cup titles as a coach, while midfielder Toni Kroos became the most successful player in the competition’s history with six wins in as many final appearances.

I must thank the Moroccan Football Association and all the people of Morocco for their hard work in organising the tournament and for the warm welcome they gave to its participants and the many fans who came to enjoy the competition.

Gianni Infantino
FIFA President
Real Madrid CF v Al Hilal SFC: Final  - FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022

Awards

Golden Ball: Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) Silver Ball: Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) Bronze Ball: Luciano Vietto (Al Hilal) Fair Play Trophy: Real Madrid

FIFA trials live communication of VAR decisions

The tournament provided an ideal opportunity to conduct a trial of live communication of video assistant referee (VAR) decisions for the first time. The IFAB, at its meeting on 18 January 2023, gave the go-ahead for trials of the system to take place at international competitions during the following 12-month period. The system involves the match referee announcing VAR review decisions to the spectators in the stadium and the live television audience. It is intended to make the process clearer to fans. The first-ever live VAR explanation for fans took place during the opening match between Al Ahly and Auckland City. After reviewing an incident on the edge of the Auckland City penalty area, referee Ma Ning announced that the decision was a free kick for denying a goalscoring opportunity, for which Auckland City’s Adam Mitchell was shown a red card.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 20: FIFA Referee Committee Chairman Pierluigi Collina poses for a portrait on December 20, 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)

We thought this FIFA Club World Cup would be perfect because it’s a multi-language competition, with teams and, of course, spectators coming from all six continents.

Pierluigi Collina
FIFA Referees Committee chairman
FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022™

Away from the pitch

Before the tournament, the participating clubs’ captains – Mohamed El Shenawy (Al Ahly), Cam Howieson (Auckland City), Éverton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Nicolás Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders) and Yahya Jabrane (Wydad Athletic Club) – came together to record a 30-second video with a simple message: Football Unites the World. The video, shown on broadcasts around the world and inside both stadiums during the tournament, was a reminder of football’s power to bring people together to celebrate as one.

FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022™

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