The path to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 presented by Alibaba Cloud was set as FIFA Legend Michael Owen drew the seven contenders in Zurich.
Fans will be treated to a meeting between Asia and Africa in the quarter-finals, with Esperance Sportive de Tunis now set to be following the final rounds of the AFC Champions League intently. The pair will then face off against the winners of the CONMEBOL Libertadores.
Meanwhile, hosts Al Sadd – unless they were to be crowned champions of Asia – and Hienghene Sport have a meeting with Monterrey to look forward to, before the winners face Liverpool.
“I’m really excited for the competition,” Owen said, following the draw. “There’s not many players that get their hands on this trophy in their careers and of course every player wants to win a whole array of trophies. This is one of the difficult ones to win and I’m sure everyone will be going full at it to win.”
How Qatar 2019 is shaping up
Even though we are yet to know the full array of competitors set to head for the Gulf state in December, it is already guaranteed that we will see a new name etched into the record books as champions. The last time we saw a new side lift the trophy was Bayern Munich in 2013.
As it stands, 2005 runners-up Liverpool are heading to Qatar as the only former finalists, though the likes of Gremio, Boca Juniors, River Plate and Kashima Antlers could join them as past silver medallists. Meanwhile, Al Sadd and Monterrey both have a bronze medal in their trophy cabinet that they’ll be yearning to improve on.
This will also be the first time in over a decade where we will have seen back-to-back OFC debutants kick off the tournament on 11 December. After Team Wellington ended the regional hegemony of Auckland City in 2018 – following a record seven-straight appearances by their Kiwi rivals – Hienghene Sport will represent Oceania. Only four times in 16 editions have we not had a side from New Zealand competing.