Real Madrid, the top candidate, is aiming for a record-breaking fifth Club World Cup title and maintaining European dominance over South America. 2018 appears to be on track for Brazil’s Flamengo in the final, but both must first avoid surprises in the semi-final before playing in the final in Rabat on 11 February.
European clubs have won the title in the last nine competitions and have established control since 2012 when Brazil’s Corinthians beat Chelsea in the final in Japan, a rare advantage in South America.
The European champion and the Copa Libertadores winner appear directly in the semi-finals, but the competition kicks off on Wednesday when Al Ahly face Auckland City in Tangier in the opening match.
The tournament will be used to test further modifications to the VAR system. For the first time, the referees will explain the reasons behind the VAR decisions to fans in the stadium and TV viewers, but conversations between employees during the decision discussion will be kept confidential.
This may be the last or penultimate revision of the current system, after FIFA decided to hold an expanded tournament with 32 teams in 2025.
The biggest European clubs dominate the list of the most crowned champions of the Club World Cup until the start of the 19th edition in Morocco next February, namely from the 1st to the 11th of the same month.