The Fifa Club World Cup breaks new ground next month when it takes place for the first time in Saudi Arabia. In another first, European champions Manchester City debut at the tournament, and will feature alongside the likes of hosts Al Ittihad, Egypt’s Al Ahly and South American champions Fluminense. The Brazilian side were confirmed on Saturday as the final team to seal their spot in Jeddah.
What is it?
The Fifa Club World Cup is a seven-team tournament bringing together the champions of the six continental confederations and the host nation’s most recent league winners. The 2023 edition will see history made with the competition debuting in the kingdom – with host city Jeddah providing the setting. The Club World Cup has been held in the Gulf seven times previously: five times in the UAE and twice in Qatar.
However, next month’s tournament represents the last time it will be played in its current format; the next edition, in 2025, will be expanded to 32 teams. The United States will host.
When is it?
The 2023 tournament runs December 12-22, with both the final and the third-place play-off taking place on December 22.
Where is it?
Matches will be played at King Abdullah Sports City and Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium.
Who is playing? *Club World Cup participation in brackets
Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia) – 2022/23 Saudi Pro League winners (2nd)
Manchester City (England) – 2022/23 Uefa Champions League winners (1st)
Fluminense (Brazil) – 2023 Copa Libertadores winners (1st)
Al Ahly (Egypt) – 2022/23 Caf Champions League winners (9th)
Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan) – 2022 Asian Champions League winners (3rd)
Club Leon (Mexico) – 2023 Concacaf Champions League winners (1st)
Auckland City (New Zealand) – 2023 OFC Champions League nominees (11th)
Fixtures (all times Saudi local time)
December 12 – Al Ittihad v Auckland City, King Abdullah Sports City, 9pm
December 15 – Club Leon v Urawa Reds, Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium, 5:30pm
December 16 – Al Ahly v Winners Match 1, King Abdullah Sports City, 9pm
December 18 – Fluminense v Winners Match 2, King Abdullah Sports City, 9pm
December 19 – Manchester City v Winners Match 3, King Abdullah Sports City, 9pm
Third place play-off:
December 22 – Losers Match 4 v Losers Match 5, Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium, 5:30pm
December 22 – Winners Match 4 v Winners Match 5, King Abdullah Sports City, 9pm
Real Madrid hold the record for most Club World Cup titles, with five. The Spanish giants won the third and fourth of those crowns in Abu Dhabi, in 2017 and 2018. Long-time rivals Barcelona, meanwhile, sit second in the overall standings, with three titles. Like Madrid, they have tasted success in Abu Dhabi before, in 2009.
Corinthians and Bayern Munich are the only other clubs with multiple wins (2), while Liverpool, AC Milan, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Chelsea are among the teams who have captured the trophy once. The latter two also achieved the feat in the UAE capital, in 2010 and 2021, respectively.
Tickets for the 2023 Club World Cup start at SAR 40, and can be found at https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/tournaments/mens/fifa-club-world-cup/saudi-arabia-2023/tickets