Club World Cup: Real Madrid for fifth crown, Wydad for African first
Organized by FIFA and featuring the winners of the six continental confederations and the host nation’s champions, the annual Club World Cup returns to the Kingdom for the 3rd time, following events in Morocco and Agadir in 2013 and 2014. .
So, “Al Ahli” (Egypt), “Al Hilal” (Saudi Arabia), “Auckland City” (New Zealand), “Flamengo” (Brazil), “Real Madrid” (Spain), “Seattle Sounders” (USA) ) and “Vydad” (Morocco) clubs are seven heroes. This top world football scheduled from February 1 to 11 at the Grand Stade de Tanger and Prince Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex in Rabat.
Winner of this trophy four times (2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018), in addition to three Intercontinental Cups (1960, 1998 and 2002), Real Madrid is undoubtedly the big favorite for the final crown given the quality and brilliance of its players. Merengue experience in such competitions.
At the expense of the Englishmen of “Liverpool”, who won the Champions League in 2022, the Madrid players will enter the competition in the semi-final stage, where they will face the “Seattle Sounders” and “Al Ahli” of the United States in Rabat on February 8. Auckland from Egypt or New Zealand.
For its part, the Brazilian team Flamengo, which represents the South American continent as the winner of the Libertadores 2022 cup, cherishes the dream of marking its name among the winners of this cup. The last nine editions of this cup were won by European teams, including “Chelsea” in Abu Dhabi last year.
The Brazilians qualified for the tournament by winning the Libertadores Cup for the third time in their history at the expense of Athletico Paranaense (1:0) in the 100% Brazilian final.
Like Madrid, they will go to the semi-finals of the competition where they will face the winner of the duel between “Wydad Casablanca” and “Al Hilal” (Saudi Arabia) on February 7 in Tangier.
The representatives of Moroccan football in this competition, Wydad de Casablanca (DAK), will try to continue the path of their neighbors Raja, who had a heroic career by qualifying for the final with “Bayern” in 2013 (Raja’s 0:2 defeat). ).
WAC will be eager to play and offer Morocco under the leadership of Walid Regragui, then the current coach of Atlas Lions, the African champion and Moroccan champion, after the victory over Al Ahly (2-0) in the final. Africa won its first title in this competition.
Al Ahli, the other representative of the African continent in these games, owes its participation in this tournament to the organization of the World Cup in Morocco.
The regulations of the Club World Cup state that two teams from the same country cannot participate in the tournament. “Wydad Athletic Club” will participate as a representative of Morocco, and “Al Ahli” will participate as a representative of the African continent. This will be Al Ahli’s eighth appearance at the Club World Cup. He won the bronze medal three times in 2006, 2021 and 2022.
“Al Ahli” will face “Oakland City” in Tangier for the tournament on February 1.
As for Al Hilal, Oakland City and Seattle Sounders, they will spend the tournament with mixed fortunes.
The Seattle Sounders are the first MLS team to play in the FIFA Club World Cup, while the Saudis will play in their 3rd Club World Cup following 2019 and 2021, when they finished 4th.
They beat Mexico’s Pumas 3-0 to win the second leg 5-2 to win the Concacaf Champions League.
As for OFC Champions League (Oceania) winners ahead of AS Venus, this will be their 12th FIFA Club World Cup appearance. This time, he will try to repeat his success in 2014, when he won a bronze medal.
With the decision, the 2022 Club World Cup appears to have already started in the Kingdom. The two home stadiums have undergone renovations and improvements, and in terms of popular enthusiasm, a whole nation will be behind the Red and Whites to climb to the top of the competition podium.