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Football: All you need to know about the Club World Cup

The 18th edition of the Club World Cup takes place this month and there will be seven teams battling it out to lift the trophy.

Those seven teams, from six confederations, will be vying for glory and there are set to be some top-class names in action, including the Chelsea duo of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Here is a look at all you need to know about the tournament.

What is the Club World Cup?

The Club World Cup is an international men's football competition organised by FIFA, the sport's governing body.

The inaugural edition in 2000 was held in Brazil, where Corinthians were crowned champions, while the 17th staging of the tournament took place in Qatar in 2020 when Bayern Munich lifted the trophy.

How does the Club World Cup work?

It involves the winners of that year's AFC Champions League (Asia), CAF Champions League (Africa), CONCACAF Champions League (North America), Copa Libertadores (South America), OFC Champions League (Oceania) and UEFA Champions League (Europe), along with the host nation's national champions, who participate in a straight knockout tournament.

A draw is held to determine the matchups of the second round, which is between the first-round winner and teams from AFC, CAF and CONCACAF, and the opponents of the two second-round winners in the semi-finals (against teams from CONMEBOL and UEFA).

The winners of both semi-finals will contest the final, while the two losers from those last-four encounters will face off in the third/fourth place clash.

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Who won the last Club World Cup?

Bayern Munich won the tournament in 2020, beating UANL 1-0 in the final. It is the second time the Bavarians have lifted the trophy, having triumphed in 2013, and it was the eighth straight year a European outfit claimed the spoils.

When is the Club World Cup?

The tournament will be held from 3rd-12th February.

Where will the Club World Cup be held?

The event will be held in the United Arab Emirates for the fifth time, with previous tournaments held in the UAE in 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018.

Who is playing in the Club World Cup?

Palmeiras (Brazil, winners of Copa Libertadores)
Chelsea (England, winners of Champions League)
Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia, winners of AFC Champions League)
Al Ahly (Egypt, winners of CAF Champions League)
Monterrey (Mexico, winners of CONCACAF Champions League)
AS Pirae (Tahiti, OFC nominees)
Al Jazira (UAE, tournament hosts & winners of UEA Pro League)

Which team has won the Club World Cup the most?

Spanish giants Real Madrid have won the Club World Cup a record four times, claiming the spoils in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Barcelona are next on the list, winning on three occasions, while Corinthians and Bayern are both two-time winners.

How can I watch the Club World Cup?

All matches will be shown across the BBC Red Button and are also available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Who are the contenders for the Club World Cup?

Chelsea's squad looks extremely strong heading into the Club World Cup and you would be hard pressed to argue against them winning the tournament for the first time.

The Blues have endured previous heartache when losing in the 2012 final to Corinthians, which is the last time a non-European team lifted the trophy.

Thomas Tuchel will be keen to add another piece of silverware to his collection since taking charge at Stamford Bridge and he has the likes of Mason Mount, Werner, Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech to call upon.

Chelsea also start the tournament in the semi-finals and therefore only require two victories to take the title back home to England.

Brazilian outfit Palmeiras will be no pushovers, as they also begin their quest for glory in the semi-finals, and they are on a nine-game unbeaten streak heading into the tournament.

Ronielson da Silva Barbosa, also known as Rony, has scored one goal from two league appearances this season and he is one to watch out for at the tournament.

The 26-year-old has been with the club since 2020 and he boasts a solid scoring record, netting 23 goals from 98 appearances in total.

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