Thomas Tuchel 'excited' by chance of Fifa Club World Cup glory with Chelsea in Abu Dhabi

Premier League side enter tournament at semi-final stage, on February 9

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is chasing a third trophy since joining the club 12 months ago. PA
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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says his side will do everything to win what he calls the “extraordinary” Fifa Club World Cup, which begins this week in Abu Dhabi.

The European champions, taking part in the competition for only the second time, are considered favourites for the February 3-12 tournament. Abu Dhabi plays host to the event for the fifth time following successful runs in 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018.

Chelsea enter at the semi-final stage on February 9, where they face either UAE champions Al Jazira, Tahiti’s AS Pirae or last year’s Asian Champions League winners Al Hilal. The match will be staged at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium.

Tuchel, who seeks a third trophy since joining Chelsea last year, told the club’s official website: "Once you're in it you're pretty excited. Once you're not in it, it's a competition that has not the highest focus on and highest value. It seems like this in Europe, or only for me.

"But once you're in it and you start planning it and you see it coming on the horizon it is quite exciting."

In the 2012 Club World Cup, played in Japan, Chelsea got through their semi-final only to lose 1-0 to Brazil’s Corinthians in the showpiece. At present, Manchester United and Liverpool are the only English side to have captured the trophy.

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"It's a big opportunity to win an extraordinary trophy, which is far from daily business,” Tuchel said. “And that's why we'll do anything to take the chance to make it happen.”

Brazil’s Palmeiras, Egypt’s Al Ahly and Mexico’s Monterrey make up the other teams competing in Abu Dhabi. Al Jazira, who in 2017 reached the last four before losing to eventual winners Real Madrid, kick off the tournament on Thursday. They face a play-off match against Oceania representatives AS Pirae, with the winner moving on to meet Al Hilal in the second round on Sunday.

Updated: January 31, 2022, 5:51 AM