This week the often-controversial FIFA Club World Cup will be concluded in Qatar. Seven teams from the six different FIFA confederations all over the world will battle it out to claim the title as the best club football side in the world.

UEFA representatives Liverpool will be hoping to maintain the long run of success for European teams at the tournament and their stiffest challenge will likely come from Brazilian Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo, a team who once beat Liverpool 3-0 back in the old Intercontinental Cup in the early 1980s.

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Let’s now give you a brief history of the Club World Cup and all its various forms over the years.

Club World Cup – History

The FIFA Club World Cup first came into being in the 2000’s and eventually superseded the now defunct Intercontinental Cup as the tournament to be contested by the best club sides in the world.

The original Intercontinental Cup featured the winners (or nominated representatives) of teams that won the Champions League (or as was, the European Cup) in Europe against South America’s Copa Libertadores winners.

However, after several years of planning, the first FIFA Club World Cup was arranged and contested in Brazil in 2000, but in following years, the tournament was not contested for a number of social and political as well as footballing reasons. In 2004, the tournament officially superseded the Intercontinental Cup and a new and relaunched tournament was held in Japan in December 2005.

The tournament has been held every year since in a number of venues including Japan, UAE and Morocco, with this year being the first time that the tournament is to be held in Qatar.

Previous Winners

  • 2000 – Corinthians 0-0 Vasco De Gama (Corinthians won on penalties)
  • 2005 – Sao Paulo 1-0 Liverpool
  • 2006 – Internacional 1-0 Barcelona
  • 2007 – Milan 4-2 Boca Juniors
  • 2008 – Manchester United 1-0 LDU Quito
  • 2009 – Barcelona 2-1 Estudiantes
  • 2010 – Inter 3-0 TP Mazembe
  • 2011 – Barcelona 4-0 Santos
  • 2012 – Corinthians 1-0 Chelsea
  • 2013 – Bayern Munich 2-0 Raja Casablanca
  • 2014 – Real Madrid 2-0 San Lorenzo
  • 2015 – Barcelona 3-0 River Plate
  • 2016 – Real Madrid 4-2 Kashima Antlers
  • 2017 – Real Madrid 1-0 Gremio
  • 2018 – Real Madrid 4-1 Al Ain

4 Wins – Real Madrid, 3 Wins – Barcelona, 2 Wins – Corinthians, All Other Winners have won the tournament once apiece.

Club World Cup 2019 – Results & Remaining Fixtures

The 2019 tournament is being played for the first time in Doha in Qatar with a total of 7 teams (from 6 different FIFA confederations taking part). Teams are seeded into different stages of the tournament, with the top two seeds entering at the semifinal stage, the next three seeds entering in the Second Round, and the bottom two seeds contesting the single First Round match up.

The teams competing this year are as follows

Seeded to the Semi Finals

  • Flamengo (CONMEBOL)
  • Liverpool (UEFA)

Seeded to the Second Round

  • Al-Hilal (AFC)
  • Esperance de Tunis (CAF)
  • Monterrey (CONCACAF)

First Round Seeds

  • Hienghene Sport (OFC)
  • Al-Sadd (AFC – Host Nation Representatives)

So far, both the First Round and Second Round of Matches have been played producing the following results:

First Round

  • Al- Sadd 3-1 Hienghene Sport (after extra time)

Second Round

  • Monterrey 3-2 Al-Sadd
  • Al Hilal 1-0 Esperance de Tunis

Which leaves us with the following semifinals to be played Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Semi Finals

  • Flamengo v Al Hilal (Tue)
  • Monterrey v Liverpool (Wed)

Club World Cup 2019 – Latest Betting & Tips

Flamengo v Al Hilal

The Brazilian side are 2/5 with bet365 to win this game and it is not difficult to see why. The Brazilian side edged out River Plate in dramatic fashion with two late goals to beat the Argentineans 2-1 in the Copa Libertadores final and they face an Al Hilal side that boasts former Norwich City striker Bafetimbi Gomis as one of its star men.

In truth, this should be a relatively comfortable game for the attack-minded Brazilian side and I would expect them to come through this comfortably to reach the final. I’d back Flamengo to win the game 3-1.

Monterrey v Liverpool

Mexican side Monterrey will be trying to eliminate Liverpool from the tournament when they meet on Wednesday evening in Doha. The Central American side have some talented players, notably going forward and they will likely be able to cause the Liverpool back line a few worries.

However, Liverpool are in such good form at the moment that it is hard to see them travelling all this distance, with the squad that they have and putting in a bad performance here. Injuries have bitten in recent weeks but the squad depth is outstanding for the Reds and I think they will come through this game probably by a 2-0 scoreline to secure a place in the final.

Outright Winner Tip – Liverpool (4/11)

Assuming it is the Flamengo v Liverpool final that most people expect, who will come out on top? In truth, both sides are pretty similar to each other. They have shown defensive frailties at times over the course of this season, but their attacking flair has been enough to get them out of trouble.

Flamengo rode their luck to beat River Plate in the Copa Libertadores final, but I feel this Liverpool team has the edge in terms of big games experience and quality. The Reds record against South American opposition however is poor, so this won’t be a straightforward win by any means and it may take extra time or even penalties to decide the winner, but I do feel Liverpool will eventually claim the title.