Bayern Munich travelled to Morocco after their comfortable home win against Hamburg on Saturday and are looking to win their first ever FIFA Club World Cup. With just two wins, they can do that. Here’s the lowdown on this most different of tournaments.
The FIFA Club World Cup is in its 10th year and has grown into a very widely respected club tournament. It is a tournament between the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations, as well as the league winner from the host nation, which in this case is Morocco.
There are 7 teams involved in the tournament (Raja Casablanca, Auckland City, Monterrey, Guangzhou Evergrande, Al-Ahly, Atletico Miniero, Bayern Munich). The tournament began on the 11th December and this is how the games have played out:
Raja Casablanca 2-1 Auckland City
Raja Casablanca 2-1 Monterrey (aet)
Guangzhou Evergrande 2-0 Al-Ahly
Because of the priority that comes with being the South American and European participants, Bayern Munich and Atletico Miniero come into the tournament at the semi-final stage.
On Tuesday night, Bayern Munich face Guangzhou Evergrande in the 1st semi-final, before the second semi-final between Raja Casablanca and Atletico Miniero takes place on Wednesday. All the previous winners of this 10-year old tournament hail from either Europe or South America. The likes of FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Sao Paolo are all previous winners of the tournament.
Bayern come into the tournament having broken more records than you can think of. Their record of 41 league games unbeaten in Germany is one of the greatest to behold. After being crowned the Herbstmeister after Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Hamburg, Bayern come into the tournament as firm favourites and are expected to clinch the title comfortably. But having never even participated in the tournament before, anything can happen.
Bayern have been able to take a full squad to Morocco minus the injured Holger Badstuber and Arjen Robben. Ahead of their first game, Bayern confirmed that Julian Green was included in the Club World Cup squad, as a replacement for the injured Arjen Robben.
Bayern’s first opponents in the tournament, Guangzhou Evergrande, clinched the Chinese Super-League title 2 months before their season had finished. The played their final league game on November 3rd and won the league title by 18 points having lost just 1 game and conceding only 18 goals. They have won the Chinese Super-League for the last 3 seasons, but qualified for the Club World Cup by winning their first ever Asian Champions League.
Bayern’s biggest rivals for the title of Club World Champions, is the Brazilian participant and likeliest final pairing, Atletico Miniero. With the likes of Jo, Fernandinho, Diego Tardelli, Richarlyson and Ronaldinho in their squad; the Brazilian outfit should not be taken lightly. Miniero head to Morocco having played the vast majority of their league season in Brazil already. They lie 8th in the Brasileiro Serie A and have struggled to recover from the loss of their former star player, Bernard, to Shakhtar Donetsk last summer.
Be sure to tune into Bayern’s first game Tuesday night as their quest for more trophies and records continues.
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