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10th Jun 2024

Real Madrid make spectacular U-turn on Club World Cup 

Callum Boyle

Real Madrid

Reports had claimed that Real Madrid were going to turn down a place at the Club World Cup

Carlo Ancelotti has said that his comments about the Club World Cup have been misinterpreted.

Ancelotti was asked about next year’s Club World Cup competition that will have a brand-new look to it.

The tournament has moved away from its old format and will now feature 32 teams and will be played across four weeks in the US next summer following the conclusion of the 2024-25 season.

Instead of being played every year, the Club World Cup will now take place every four years. 

Madrid were expected to be one of the sides playing in the competition having won five out of the last nine Champions League finals but during an interview with Il Giornale via Relevo, it appeared that Ancelotti was not keen on Los Blancos playing in the competition.

“FIFA forgets that the clubs and players will not participate in that tournament,” the Italian was quoted as saying.

“A single Real Madrid match is worth €20m (£17m) and they want to give us that money for the entire competition. Negative. 

“Real Madrid, like other clubs, we will decline the invitation.”

Ancelotti denies claims

It then emerged that Ancelotti’s words had been taken out of context and that the Italian was relishing the prospect of playing in the revamped Club World Cup.

He said: “In my interview with Il Giornale, my words about the FIFA Club World Cup have not been interpreted in the way I intended.

“Nothing could be further from my interest than rejecting the possibility of playing a tournament that I think can be a great opportunity to continue fighting for great titles with Real Madrid.”

Madrid have also confirmed that they will play in the tournament.

Club World Cup expansion criticised by league chiefs

FIFA have come under fire for relaunching the Club World Cup and several league bosses have threatened to boycott the competition – including the Premier League and LaLiga,

League chiefs have accused the world governing body of “killing the game” while PFA boss Maheta Molango has warned that legal action may be taken if FIFA don’t withdraw their decision.

“Those who run the game need to listen,” he told The Sun. “If they don’t, then as unions we have a responsibility to the players to take action — and the legal route is the next step.

“The governing bodies have had every chance to meaningfully engage with us on this, but they have failed to do so. Current player workloads are unsustainable.”

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