Monday, June 24, 2024

Real Madrid announce they’ll play in 2025 Club World Cup after Carlo Ancelotti was quoted saying they’d pass

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Real Madrid will participate in the 2025 Club World Cup, the same club confirmed after coach Carlo Ancelotti said that the Spanish giants were not accepting an invitation to play and explained the reasons in an interview to Italian newspaper Il Giornale. The 2025 edition of the Club World Cup will be the first one expanded to a much similar World Cup format, with 32 teams involved. The tournament is set to take place in the United States in June and July 2025, with the teams coming from Africa, Asia, America, Oceania and Europe. 

Ancelotti in the interview said that Real Madrid won’t participate alongside other teams: “Players and clubs won’t participate in that tournament. One single Real Madrid game is worth €20 million, and FIFA want to give us that amount for the entire competition. Negative. Just like us, other clubs will refuse the invitation.”

After the interview became public on Monday, Real Madrid issued the statement on the matter: “Real Madrid CF announces that at no time has its participation in the new Club World Cup to be organized by FIFA in the upcoming 2024/2025 season been questioned. Therefore, our club will compete, as planned, in this official competition that we face with pride and with the utmost enthusiasm to make our millions of fans around the world dream again with a new title.”

The same Ancelotti clarified his position later on his social media channels: “In my interview with Il Giornale, my words about the FIFA Club World Cup were not interpreted in the way I intended. Nothing could be further from my interest than rejecting the possibility of playing in a tournament that I consider could be a great opportunity to continue fighting for big titles with Real Madrid”, he said. 

29 teams out of 32 have already qualified for the competition, with only three spots still available. The tournament has faced some criticism from leagues and the players’ unions, due to increased amount of games played for the upcoming 2024-25 season. Teams, like Real Madrid, qualified via a “champions pathway”  winning their continent’s club competition. Others qualified via a “ranking pathway” based on previous performance in the non-domestic competitions. 

There is also another issue about the contracts of the players involved in the tournament, considering that some might need to be regulated, as in the European leagues, for example, contracts are due at the end of June, when the tournament is still happening. FIFA still haven’t commented on how they want to solve it but the quotes of Ancelotti are definitely another red flag that needs to be monitored.  

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