When Barcelona triumphed and Messi starred: A look back to Fifa Club World Cup UAE 2009

As the tournament makes its return to the Emirates, we go back eight years to the first time it took place on these shores.

Lionel Messi, centre, was the main draw at the Fifa Club World Cup at Zayed Sports City in 2009. Andrew Henderson For The National
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The Fifa Club World Cup first came to the UAE in 2009, the sixth edition of the tournament, before hosting it again the following year. Ahead of the Club World Cup's return to the Emirates in December, John McAuley goes back eight years to recap how that tournament unfolded.


Al Ahli (UAE) - 2008/09 UAE Pro League winners
Auckland City (New Zealand) - 2008/09 OFC Champions League winners
TP Mazembe (DR Congo) - 2009 CAF Champions League winners
Pohang Steelers (South Korea) - 2009 AFC Champions League winners
Atlante (Mexico) - 2008/09 Concacaf Champions League winners
Estudiantes (Argentina) - 2009 Copa Libertadores winners
Barcelona (Spain) - 2008/09 Uefa Champions League winners


Abu Dhabi hosted the Club World Cup for the first time, with Barcelona the undoubted main attraction. The European champions, chasing a historic six title in 2009, entered the competition at the semi-final stage, where they came back from an early goal to defeat Mexico’s Atlante 3-1 at a packed Zayed Sports City. Almost 41,000 supporters witnessed Barcelona’s Pedro etch his name into the record books by scoring in six official competitions in the same season. In the final, Barcelona were again forced to come from behind when they went a goal down to Argentina's Estudiantes through Mauro Boselli’s 37th-minute opener. Pedro proved again to be the man for the grand occasion, though, with the substitute rescuing the match with only a minute remaining by converting Gerard Pique’s flick-on to send the majority of the 43,000-plus crowd wild. Barcelona then clinched the trophy five minutes into the second half of extra time, when Lionel Messi chested home a Dani Alves cross to consign his compatriots to an agonising defeat. Barcelona had a first Club World Cup crown and a sixth title for 2009, eclipsing Liverpool’s five-trophy haul from 2001.


Al Ahli 0-2 Auckland City

TP Mazembe 1-2 Pohang Steelers
Auckland City 0-3 Atlante

Pohang Steelers 1-2 Estudiantes
Atlante 1-3 Barcelona

Fifth-place play-off
TP Mazembe 2-3 Auckland City

Third-place play-off
Pohang Steelers 1-1 Atlante *Pohang won 4-3 on penalties

Estudiantes 1-2 Barcelona *After extra-time

Golden Ball – Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Top scorer – Denilson (Pohang Steelers) 4