The World Club Cup begins this week in Tokyo with the Champions of six continents vieing for the theoretical title of best club side in the World.
Chelsea, Mexican side Monterrey, Korean team Ulsan Hyundai, Auckland City, Al-Ahly from Egypt and Brazil’s Corinthians will represent the six federations of FIFA. Sanfrecce Hiroshima will make it seven as Japanese champions and the host club.
As usual, the favourites are the sides from Europe and those from South America, with the sides from Africa, Asia and North America most likely to cause an upset.
Although Oceanian kingpins Auckland are appearing in their third successive World Club cup, they are not likely to beat anyone. Australian sides are no longer considered Oceanian after their football federation switched to Asia to ensure better competition. The Egyptian side Al-Ahly have also appeared three times.
UEFA have won the last four and Manchester United were the last English winners with their 2008 triumph.
Recent World Club Cup Winers
2011 – Barcelona
2010 – Inter Milan
2009 – Barcelona
2008 – Manchester United
2007 – AC Milan
2006 – Internacional
2005 – Sao Paulo
The matches begin on December 6. Sanfrecce Hiroshima play Auckland in an elimination round with the winners tackling Al-Ahly in the quarter final. Ulsan Hyundai face Monterrey at this stage. The winners of that latter tie will face Chelsea in the last four while the side emerging from the other three play Corinthians.
The final is on December 16th.