Monday 09 December 2019, 11:18

Septet set their sights on supremacy in Qatar

  • FIFA Club World Cup kicks off on Wednesday 11 December

  • Global giants to hopeful first-timers lock horns

  • Get your tickets here

Having climbed to the highest footballing peak their continents provide, six champions from each corner of the globe join Qatar’s finest in fighting for the title of world champion.

On 21 December, the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 will climax with one of them hoisting the trophy after eight games pitting the best the planet has to offer.

Ahead of kick-off at the Jassim Bin Hamad, takes a closer look at what’s in store across 11 days of action in Doha.

In-form icons

Liverpool and Flamengo command two of the biggest fanbases on the planet, with both all too used to seeing passionate supporters fill their respective and hallowed cathedrals of football. The duo will land in Qatar as Europe and South America’s best, honours that place them as favourites – with the trophy yet to reside outside either continent.

They arrive fitting of their monikers, with both sides in scintillating form. While Flamengo are fresh from being crowned Brazilian champions, suffering just one defeat since August, Liverpool at present sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, without defeat in the competition since January.

With attacking prowess and intensity high on both of their talented rosters, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa, Virgil van Dijk and Bruno Henrique will be certain to entertain the global audience.

Debutants from near and far

Al Hilal may have finished top of the pile for the third time in Asia – with this their first time hoisting the AFC Champions League aloft since it began in 2002 – but Saudi Arabia’s most successful club are set to take their opening bow at the Club World Cup.

However, their step onto the stage will be preceded by the entry of a much more far-flung fresh face. Hienghene Sport were the first visiting side to land in Qatar, having travelled 13,000km from New Caledonia to represent Oceania as OFC Champions League winners.

The club are just 22 years old and were crowned continental champions on only their second appearance in the tournament, seeing them spring onto the global stage as the first non-New Zealand side to represent the OFC since 2010. They’re going to savour every moment.

Returning hopefuls

Host side Al Sadd are back on the scene after coming out on top in Asia 2011. Having been eliminated at the semi-final stage this time, their Qatari title meant elimination wasn’t going to rob them of their place at the finals. With two-time winner Xavi steering the ship, home fans will hope his know-how can do wonders.

Monterrey and ES Tunis are serial regulars, but are yet to clinch the final spot they both yearn. Together they’ve made it to the finals seven times since 2011 – will this year be the one where it all comes together?

A new name on the trophy

For the first time since Real Madrid lifted the title in 2014, we will see a new name on the Club World Cup.

Nine sides have tasted victory, who will be number ten?

Roll of honour

  • Real Madrid (Four - 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)

  • Barcelona (Three - 2009, 2011, 2015)

  • Corinthians (Two - 2000, 2012)

  • Bayern Munich (2013)

  • Inter Milan (2010)

  • Manchester United (2008)

  • AC Milan (2007)

  • Internacional (2006)

  • Sao Paulo (2005)