CLUB WORLD CUP
Kevin De Bruyne included as Club World Cup squads announced
FIFA have confirmed squad details for all seven participants at the Club World Cup which kicks off in Saudi Arabia on 12 December
All seven participating teams at the forthcoming 2023 FIFA Club World Cup have named their 23-man squads with the action in Jeddah kicking off on 12 December and culminating with the final at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium ten days later.
The competition will be the last to feature the current format before 2025 sees the launch of a new expanded 24 team event.
The seven participants represent the champions of the six global FIFA confederations plus Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad who are the invited host team.
De Bruyne is back
Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been absent for Manchester City since August after struggling with a persistent hamstring injury. 2024 was initially targeted as a return window for the 32-year-old but an improvement in his recovery sees City boss Guardiola include the playmaker in the club World Cup squad.
Spaniard Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland, all shortlisted for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2023 award will also be present for City in the Gulf.
Gallardo debuts at CWC
Barely a month into his tenure at Jeddah based Al Ittihad, Marcelo Gallardo faces a stern test with local fans of the Tigers expecting a strong showing at the tournament with the club having recruited the likes of Luiz Felipe, N’Golo Kante, Fabinho, Jota and Karim Benzema.
Flu eye the prize
Apart from runaway favorites in Manchester City, Libertadores winner Fluminense will be looking to restore power to CONMEBOL as Fernando Diniz will deposit his faith in the likes of experienced pros such as Marcelo and German Cano along with emerging talents such as Andre, Colombia winger Jhon Arias and striker John Kennedy.