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A Club World Cup without Real Madrid or Barcelona...


This time we were obliged to follow the Club World Cup from a distance and maybe even with an added degree of indifference. We've seen how Spanish clubs have been crowned European champions in the past five seasons (Madrid on four occasions and Barcelona in 2015) and that in turn has produced nearly a sense of entitlement. Cristiano Ronaldo has left LaLiga and in time both Xavi and Iniesta have also moved on to allow Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool to enter the stage with a brand of football that is wiping other sides away. They struggled at times against Flamengo and managed to win the tie with a goal in extra time before having FIFA bureaucrats deprive the team from celebrating the win with their travelling fans.

Jordan Henderson of Liverpool lifts the trophy as they celebrate victory following the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019
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Jordan Henderson of Liverpool lifts the trophy as they celebrate victory following the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019David Ramos - FIFAFIFA via Getty Images

High energy

Officially Liverpool are champions of the world and their achievement coincides with the tenth anniversary of Pep Guardiola's remarkable sextet of trophies with Barcelona. The style of play of that Barça side contrasts somewhat with the thunder and bluster high energy game as employed by Klopp which is expertly carried out by his fine squad with an unwavering level of compromise to the cause. If Guardiola's Barça side was the bullfighter then Liverpool are the bull. Two very different style of playing the game of football, both attack minded and both styles enabling both teams to reach the summit of the global game.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
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Liverpool manager Jurgen KloppAdam Davy/PA Wire/dpa

Past tense

Football is a transient sport. Now it appears that the famous "tiqui-taca" style of playing under the likes of Xavi and Iniesta seems like something belonging to a bygone era and a new high-pressing, high-octane level is the new way to play the game. Styles of football have come and gone so many times in the past and many managers like to feel that their chosen method is the most innovative or effective. If this is Liverpool's time to shine, then all we can do is congratulate the 2019 Club World Cup champions and at the same time I'd like to wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas.