Saturday 15 June 2024, 14:30

Legends relishing prospect of FIFA Club World Cup 2025™ with one year to go

  • The new FIFA Club World Cup 2025™ tournament kicks off on 15 June 2025

  • Former players say it will help clubs worldwide raise their level

  • They say they would have jumped at the opportunity to take part

The FIFA Club World Cup 2025™ is exactly one year away as the participants from all six confederations prepare for a unique opportunity to face opposition from around the world. The new 32-team event will kick off on 15 June 2025 in the United States, one year ahead of the FIFA World Cup 26™ which the country will co-host with North American neighbours Canada and Mexico. Here, some former players speak about how they would have liked to take part in the tournament and how they believe teams will benefit from participating.

“I believe it will be a massive event, if I had the opportunity to play in this format, with 32 teams with the involvement and exchange of values between cultures, I think it would have been an incredible experience.” Kaká “It gives you the chance to play, to compete, to test yourself against the best teams. You are putting your team and the club as a whole on the map, at a very high level.” Javier Saviola

“You give players a chance to be discovered too, because in competitions like this, new players, new talents emerge. I think it will also give opportunities to these players, other players, many players, the chance to play in an important tournament and maybe dream of winning it as well.” Gilberto Silva

“I think this competition will be very important for the African teams because it will be an opportunity for them to show what they are capable of. It will also be an opportunity for them to become world champions.” Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba

“For me, an expanded (FIFA) Club World Cup is a great opportunity for a lot of teams. It gives you the chance to know where you’re at as a team and how much ambition you really have. So, it’s definitely a competition in which, when you face the best teams, you improve yourself.” Javier Zanetti “It has always been important for the South American teams, it’s an incredible experience.” Juan Sebastián Verón “I think it can also help in the sense that everybody can get better organised to play against the big clubs at their level. You give more chances, more opportunities, for these clubs to play at a great event at world level.” Roque Júnior

FIFA Legend Roque Junior

“The spotlight is not only on South America versus Europe but also on the other continents because they’ll have the opportunity to play games against the very best. In the end, that’s what football is about: dreaming about playing on the very biggest stage and then seeing how far you can go.” Esteban Cambiasso “Of course, FIFA wants to bring everyone together and when you bring the best teams from Australia, South America or Europe together, there is a different level. You see how great it is at FIFA World Cups when you play against South American, Asian or African teams. You have to prepare differently, the level of competition is very high and so I would have loved the opportunity to play in a (FIFA) Club World Cup. But now I’m more involved as a spectator and a fan.” Sami Khedira