The new expanded Club World Cup is closer to become a reality thanks, in part, to the two Spanish giants.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have expressed in the last few hours their support to FIFA’S new tournament that would feature 24 clubs from around the world competing every four years during the second half of June.
This competition would replace both the current Confederations Cup and the present format of the Club World Cup. It would debut in 2021.
Europe would contribute with 12 teams and South America would be the second most represented continent with four or five clubs; Africa, Asia and North America would contribute two teams each.
Oceania would have its representative in a playoff with the 'fifth best placed' team in South America, while the host team would complete the quota of 24.
Barcelona have announced its support to the new Club World Cup because, according to a statement by the Catalan club, "it would contribute to the growth of the brands of the clubs and would provide a new source of income."
Furthermore Barcelona’s math suggests the new tournament would reduce by more than 35 percent the number of games its players have to compete in, based on the current sum of the Confederations Cup and the Club World Cup matches.
According to The New York Times, FIFA tried to convince Europe’s top clubs about the benefits of its proposal in a private meeting held recently. The newspaper cites representatives of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich at the gathering allegedly held last Wednesday in Zurich with the world football body’s president, Gianni Infantino.
UEFA on the other hand has been very critical of FIFA’s intentions.
Europe’s football president Aleksander Ceferin said in a recent interview "UEFA should not be meeting with only seven federations or clubs and discussing with them things that concern all of European football.”
"I know that at least three of the seven clubs don't agree with the path that FIFA wants to take, “ he added
According to some reports, aside from Barcelona and Real Madrid, other clubs that would have a spot reserved in the Club World Cup include Bayern Munich, Ajax, Milan, Liverpool, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. The other two teams would come from a group formed by Manchester City, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Porto, Benfica and Borussia Dortmund.