FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP
What is Real Madrid’s record at the FIFA Club World Cup?
The Spanish champions will take on Al Hilal in the final of this year’s tournament after defeating Al Ahly.
Although it didn’t always appear as if it were going to be the case, Real Madrid ultimately cruised past Egyptian side Al Ahly and into the final of the FIFA Club World Cup, in which they will take on Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, who surprisingly saw off Brazilians Flamengo in the semi-finals.
When is the FIFA Club World Cup final?
Real Madrid will take on Al Hilal in Rabat on Saturday 11 February, with kick-off at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT. You will, of course, be able to follow live coverage on AS USA.
How many times have Real Madrid won the FIFA Club World Cup?
Al Hilal won’t be given much of a chance of lifting the trophy and they’ll be feeling even less confident if they take a look at the history books. European teams have won 14 of the previous 18 events, none of which have been one by Asians clubs, while Real Madrid have won the competition on more occasions than any other club (four) and have a perfect record in the final.
Real Madrid’s first FIFA Club World Cup appearance in 2000
The FIFA Club World Cup was founded in 2000, with Los Blancos competing in the inaugural tournament in Brazil having won the 1998 Intercontinental Cup, a competition which pitted the winners of the UEFA Champions League and CONMEBOL’s Copa Libertadores against each other. That year, Madrid competed in both but won neither, finishing fourth in the FIFA Club World Cup and losing in the final of the Intercontinental Cup to Boca Juniors in Tokyo. The Spaniards would go on to win that competition on one more occasion – against Paraguayan side Olimpia in 2002 – before it was disbanded after the 2004 edition.
The 2000 FIFA Club World Cup is, incredibly, the only edition of the tournament that Real Madrid have participated in and not won. On that occasion, they finished second in a group containing Corinthians, Al Nassr (you’ll know them now if you didn’t back then) and Raja Casablanca, which was only good enough to qualify for the third-placed playoff, which they lost to Mexican side Necaxa in a penalty shootout.
Los Merengues were due to participate the following year as Champions League winners but the tournament, which was scheduled to be played in Spain, was cancelled because of a number of different factors, including the collapse of FIFA’s marketing partner ISL.
The next edition of the FIFA Club World Cup didn’t take place until 2005, by which point Madrid had started their 12-year Champions League drought. As a result, their next appearance in the competition didn’t come until 2014, which is when their dominance of it began.
Madrid’s first Club World Cup win in 2014
The current format was in use by that point, which means they only need to win two matches against theoretically weaker opposition to lift the trophy. In 2014 in Morocco, they won the tournament for the first time in their history, cruising past Cruz Azul 4-0 in the semi-finals before recording a 2-0 win over Argentinians San Lorezno in the final.
Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick leads to victory in 2016
Two years later in Japan, they regained their title from Barcelona, dispatching Club América in the last four and then struggling past home side Kashima Antlers after extra-time; the highlight of the final was undoubtedly a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.
Ronaldo again the match-winner in 2017
Madrid then defended their title the following year in the United Arab Emirates. They came from a goal down to squeeze past Emirati side Al Jazira in the semi-finals thanks to goals from Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, before Ronaldo struck the only goal in the final against Grêmio of Brazil.
Three-in-a-row for Real Madrid in 2018
And they made it three-in-a-row – and a record four titles overall – in 2018, again in the UAE. A rather more convincing performance as a Bale hat-trick downed Kashima Antlers in the last four before they cruised to a 4-1 victory against Al Ain of the home nation in the final.