Tuesday 09 April 2024, 10:30

"I would love to have played": Javier Saviola savours the prospect of the Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™

  • Two of his former clubs, Real Madrid and Benfica, have already qualified

  • Saviola played for Argentina at the Copa América, FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games

  • Inaugural Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™ will take place in the USA next year

Argentina’s Javier Saviola played for major clubs on both sides of the Atlantic during his illustrious career, won an Olympic gold medal and participated at the Copa América and the FIFA World Cup (in 2006). The new 32-team Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™, featuring top clubs from around the world, is something he would very much liked to have played in. "I would’ve loved to have done so. I would’ve loved to have been involved in this kind of tournament, because [...] it gives you the chance to play, to compete and to test yourself against the best teams," he told Inside FIFA. "You know that by going this far you’re putting your team on the world map, elevating your club to a very high level. I think that if you ask any player, it would definitely be a dream to be able to share the pitch with the best teams, to be able to play with the best teams and to be part of this great tournament."

The new tournament, to be played from 15 June 13 July 2025, will bring together 12 clubs from Europe, six from South America, four from Asia, four from Africa, four from North and Central America, and Caribbean, one from Oceania and one from the host nation. The competition is part of FIFA’s Strategic Objectives for the 2023-2027 cycle and recognises that many regions need more competitive football. Two of Saviola's former clubs -- Real Madrid CF and SL Benfica -- have already qualified for the tournament while two others – FC Barcelona and River Plate – could join them.

The shirt of Javier Saviola of River Plate is prepared in the dressing room

"I had the privilege of playing for some of the clubs that will be playing in this tournament, and the privilege to be able to follow them, to be able to go to some games. I’d love to be able to watch some of the games and the stadiums and enjoy some football. So, it’s going to be great pleasure and great honour to be able to watch these kinds of events," said Saviola, who was known as the Rabbit during his playing days. For clubs such as River Plate, it opens more chances to face opposition from around the world. "I think that the best thing to help these clubs is holding these kinds of events, because in the past very few teams had the chance to be involved," he said. "This format gives the chance to all clubs to compete with the best. That’s how every player involved will approach this competition."