The nine Club World Cup tournaments have been won by seven different club teams. Corinthians and Spanish outfit Barcelona have won a record two titles. The other Club World Cup winners are Brazilian sides São Paulo and Internacional, Italian clubs A.C. Milan and Internazionale, as well as English club Manchester United, with one victory each in the competition. Brazil has been the most successful national league with four titles while Barcelona have the record of appearing in the most finals with three appearances.
According to FIFA, the first attempt at creating a global club football tournament was in 1909, 21 years before the first FIFA World Cup. The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, held in Turin, Italy in 1909 and 1911 and played by clubs from England, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, was named after the Scottish entrepreneur who sponsored it and won by English amateur site West Auckland, who won permanent possession of the trophy for having won it twice. The idea that FIFA itself should organize international club competitions dates from the beginning of the 1950s. In 1951, FIFA President Jules Rimet was asked about FIFA's involvement of the Copa Rio, arguably the first intercontinental soccer club tournament, to which he stated that it wasn't under FIFA's jurisdiction and mainly organized and sponsored by the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol or CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation). The competition was originally planned to be held every two years, therefore the second edition should have been staged in 1953.
The following year, Fluminense came out the winners after defeating Corinthians 4-2 on aggregate, both games being played at the Maracanã, with a 2-2 draw and a 2-0 win. The competition was succeeded by another tournament, named Torneio Octogonal Rivadavia Corrêa Meyer, which was won by Fluminense's cross-town rivals, Vasco da Gama. The final saw Vasco da Gama beat São Paulo 1-0 at the Estadio do Pacaembu and win 2-1 at home. This tournament had a different composition, with the predominance of Brazilian teams (five Brazilian sides, and three foreign clubs), thus, losing half of its intercontinental aspect. In December 2007, in a negative response to a Palmeiras' request, FIFA decided that the first World Club Cup was played in 2000, thus not recognizing Copa Rio as an official FIFA competition.
Although the tournament was discontinued, the competition was highly regarded. FIFA officials Stanley Rous and Ottorino Barassi participated personally, without using their status as FIFA members, in the organization of the competition in 1951, with Stanley Rous' role mainly attributed to the negociations with European clubs are concerned, whereas Barassi not only did that but also helped delineate the framework of the competition. Barassi also helped the organized the competition in 1952. The Italian press regarded the competition as an "impressive project" that "was greeted so enthusiastically by FIFA officialls Stanley Rous and Jules Rimet to the extent of almost giving it an official FIFA stamp". and as a competition that inspired the creation of the European Champions Cup from which it derives Intercontinental Cup. Commenting the 1951 Juventus' acceptance to participate in the tournament, the Italian press stated that "a Italian club could not be missing in such an important and worldwide-reaching event".
Commenting on the difficulty of the CBD and Fluminense in bringing European clubs to that competition, and justifying the difficulty on the unaligned schedules of the various national leagues involved, the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo suggested, on page 11 of its edition of June 26, 1952, that there should be involvement of FIFA in the programming of international club competitions, saying that "ideally, international tournaments, here or abroad, should be played at times set by FIFA". However, no response was received. The Pequeña Copa del Mundo was a tournament held in Venezuela between 1952 and 1957, with a single revival in 1963 and in 1965. It was usually played by eight participants, half from Europe and half from South America. On the European side, the Latin Cup may have initially been used as a qualifying tournament. Nothing is known about the South American selection criteria. The first edition was disputed by eventual winners Real Madrid, local team La Salle FC, Brazil's Botafogo and Colombia's Millonarios. Millonarios, Corinthians and São Paulo would go on to win the next three editions, respectively, while Real Madrid and Barcelona would win the last two seasons in 1956 and 1957. After the early 1960s, the tournament rapidly lost status as the quality of the participants decreased. This competition, along with the creation of the European Cup and the Copa Libertadores, created the groundwork of the eventual Intercontinental Cup.
The Intercontinental Cup and initial attempts at a Club World CupEdit
Created in 1960 at the initiative of the European confederation (UEFA), with CONMEBOL's support, the European/South American Cup, known also as the Intercontinental Cup, was contested as an unofficial competition by the holders of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup and the winners of its newly established South American equivalent, the Copa Libertadores. It was the brainchild of UEFA president Henri Delaunay, who also helped Jules Rimet in the realization of the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930. Initially played over two legs, with a third match if required in the early years (when goal difference did not count), the competition had a rather turbulent existence. The first winners of the competition was Spanish club Real Madrid. Real Madrid managed to hold Uruguayan side Peñarol 0-0 in Montevideo and trounce the South Americans 5-1 in Madrid to become the first winners of the competition. The Spaniards titled themselves world champions until FIFA stepped in and objected; citing that the competition did not include any other champions from the other confederations, FIFA stated that they can only claim to be intercontinental champions of a competition played between two organizations. Peñarol would appear again the following year and come out victorious after beating Portuguese club Benfica on the playoff; after a 1-0 win by the Europeans in Lisboa and a 5-0 trashing by the South Americans, a playoff at the Estadio Centenario saw the home side squeeze a 2-1 win to become the first South American side to win the competition.
But it was in 1962 when the tournament gain its prestige after it was swept through the sublime football of a Santos team led by Pelé, considered by some the best club team of all times.Os Santásticos, also known as O Balé Branco (or white ballet), which dazzled the world during that time and containing stars such as Gilmar, Mauro, Mengálvio, Coutinho, and Pepe, won the title after defeating Benfica 3-2 in Rio de Janeiro and thrashing the Europeans 2-5 in their Estádio da Luz. Santos would successfully defend the title in 1963 after being pushed all the way by Milan. After each side won 4-2 at their respective home legs, a playoff match at the Maracanã saw Santos keep the title after a tight 1-0 victory. The competition had attracted the interest of other continents. The North and Central America condeferation, CONCACAF, had asked, unsuccessfully, to participate. Milan's fierce rivals, Inter Milan, would go on to win the 1964 and 1965 editions, beating Argentine club Independiente on both occasions. Peñarol gain revenge for their loss in 1960 by crushing Real Madrid 4-0 in aggregate in 1966.
However, as a result of the violence practiced often by Argentine and Uruguayan clubs, as well as disagreements with CONMEBOL and the lack of financial incentives, most Brazilian clubs declined to participate in the Copa Libertadores from 1966 to 1970; the 1966, 1969 and 1970 editions saw no Brazilian teams participating. As a consequence of this, Argentine clubs started to be seen more often at the Intercontinental Cup which saw many unsavory events. Calendar problems, acts of brutality, even on the pitch, and boycotts tarnished its image, to the point of bringing into question the wisdom of organizing it at all. In 1967, Argentina's Racing played a violent and brutal edition against Scotland'sCeltic, dubbed "The Battle of Montevideo".
The following season, compatriots Estudiantes de La Plata faced Manchester United in which the return leg saw Estudiantes come out on top of a bad-tempered series. But it was the events of 1969 which forever tainted the competition. After a 3-0 win at the San Siro, Milan went to Buenos Aires to play Estudiantes at La Bombonera. Estudiantes' players booted balls at the Milan team as they warmed up and hot coffee was poured on the Italians as they emerged from the tunnel by Estudiantes' fans. Estudiantes resorted to inflicting elbows and needles at the Milanese team in order to intimidate them.Pierino Prati was knocked unconscious and continued for a further 20 minutes despite suffering from a mild concussion. Estudiantes goalkeeper Alberto Poletti also punched Gianni Rivera, but the most vicious treatment was reserved for Nestor Combin-an Argentinean-born striker, who had faced accusations of being a traitor as he was on the opposite side of the intercontinental match.
Combin was kicked in the face by Poletti and later saw his nose and cheekbone broken by the elbow of Ramón Aguirre Suárez. Bloodied and broken, Combin was asked to return to the pitch by the referee but fainted. While unconscious, Combin was arrested by Argentine police on a charge of draft dodging, having not undertaken military service in the country. The player was forced to spend a night in the cells, eventually being released after explaining he had fulfilled national service requirements as a French citizen. Estudiantes won the game 2-1 but Milan took the title 4-3 on aggregate.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport dubbed it, "Ninety minutes of a man-hunt". The Argentinean press reponded with "The English were right"-a reference to Alf Ramsey's famous description of the Argentina national football team as "animals" during the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The Argentinean Football Association (AFA), under heavy international pressure, took stern action. Argentina's President, military dictator Juan Carlos Ongania, summoned Estudiantes delegate Oscar Ferrari and demanded "the severest appropriate measures in defence of the good name of the national sport. [It was a] lamentable spectacle which breached most norms of sporting ethics". Poletti was banned from the sport for life, Suarez was banned for 30 games, and Eduardo Manera for 20 with the former and latter serving a month in jail.
Due to the severity of brutality in this past editions, FIFA was called into providing penalties and regulating the tournament. However, FIFA stated that they can't stipulate regulations in a competition that they didn't organize. However, with the Asian and North American club competitions in place, FIFA opened the idea of supervising the competition if it included those confederations which was met with a negative response from its participants. Nevertheless, Europeans champions started to decline in participating in the tournament after the events of 1969. Estudiantes would face Dutch sideFeyenoord the following season which saw the Europeans victorious. Oscar Malbernat ripped off Joop van Daele's glasses, who scored the winner, and trampled on them claiming that he was "not allowed to play with glasses." Dutch side Ajax, European champions of 1971, would decline to face Uruguay's Nacional due to Nacional's reputation of violent play which resulted in European Cup runner's up, Greek side Panathinaikos, participating. Nacional's Luis Artime ended up breaking Yiannis Tomaras' leg in two places in the first leg as Nacional won the series 3-2 on aggregate.
Ajax participated in 1972 against Independiente. The team's arrival at Buenos Aires was extremely hostile: Johan Cruyff received several death threats from Independiente's local fan firms. Due to the incredible indifference by the Argentine police, Ajax manager Ştefan Kovács was forced to appoint an organized emergency security detail for the Nederlandse meester, headed by himself and fellow teammate Barry Hulshoff, described as a big and burly man. In the first leg, Cruyff opened the scoring in Avellaneda at the 5th minute. As a result, Dante Mircoli retaliated with a viscious tackle a couple of minutes later; Cruyff was too injured to continue and the Dutch team found themselves being assaulted with tackles and punches. Kovács had to convince his team to play on during half-time as they all wanted to withdraw. Ajax squeezed a 1-1 tie and followed up with a 3-0 trounce in Amsterdam to win the Intercontinental Cup. Although Ajax were the defending champions, they decline to defend the trophy when Independiente showed up to participate once more, leaving it to Juventus, European Cup runners-up, to play a single-final match won by the Argentines. That same year, French newspaper L'Equipe, who helped bring about the birth of the European Cup, volunteered to sponsor a Club World Cup contested by the champions of Europe, South America, North America and Africa, the only continental club tournaments in existance at the time; the competition was to potentially take place in Paris between September and October of 1974 with an eventual final to be held at the Parc des Princes. The extreme negativity of the Europeans prevented this from happening.
German club Bayern Munich also decline to play in 1974 as Independiente also qualified to participate. European Cup runners-up Atlético Madrid from Spain won the competition 2-1 on aggregate. Once again, Independiente qualified to participate in 1975; this time, both finalists of the European Cup declined to participate and the competition was not played. That same year, L'Equipe tried, once again, to create a Club World Cup which participants would have been: the four semifinalists of the European Cup, both finalists of the Copa Libertadores, as well as the African and Asian champions. However, UEFA declined once again and the proposal failed.
Only in 1976, when Brazilian side Cruzeiro won the Copa Libertadores, did the European champions willingly participate as they disputed the cup against German side Bayern Munich, won by the Bavarians 2-0 on aggregate. In an interview with Jornal do Brasil, Bayern's manager Dettmar Cramer admitted that Bayern's refusal to dispute the 1974 and 1975 Intercontinental Cups were as a result of the antics practiced by the Argentine clubs in the past seven years. He also stated that the competition was not economically rewarding. To cover the costs of playing the first leg in Munich's Olympiastadion, the organizers needed to have a minimum of 25,000 spectators. However, the heavy snow and and cold weather prevented that from happening and only 18,000 showed up. Because of this deficit, Cramer stated that if Bayern were to win the European Cup again, they would decline to participate as it held no assurances of income. Argentine side Boca Juniors qualified for the 1977 and 1978 editions for which the European champions, English club Liverpool, declined to participate on both occasions. In 1977, Boca Juniors defeated European Cup runners-up, German club Borussia Mönchengladbach, 5-2 on aggregate. Boca Juniors declined to face Belgian club Brugge in 1978 leaving that edition undisputed.Paraguay's Olimpia won the 1979 edition against European Cup runners-up, Swedish side Malmö FF, after winning both legs. However, the competition has been greatly declining in prestige. After the 0-1 win of the South Americans in the first leg at Malmö which saw less than 5000 Swedish fans turn up, Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo named it, "the dog without an owner", and stated the poor prestige of the Intercontinental Cup as well as the low quality of the European Cup as such:
The truth is that the Intercontinental Cup is an adventitious competition without foundation. It doesn't have a known owner, its existence depends on a weird consensus and the relevant [European] clubs and fans don't want to risk so much for so little money as it was shown by the number of spectators in Malmö; it was, of course, played with the absence of this year's [European] champion, Nottingham Forest, by the Swedish team, finalist in one of the most boring games and worst European Cup final that have been held since 1956.
Other intercontinental competitions and more attempts at a World Club ChampionshipEdit
In 1969, an agreement came between the confederations of South America (CONMEBOL) and Central and North America (CONCACAF) to dispute an annual competition, the Interamerican Cup, which pits the champions of those two confederations in a format similar to the Intercontinental Cup. The first edition was disputed between Estudiantes and Mexican club Toluca in which each team won 2-1 in their away legs. The playoff in Montevideo proved to be the tie-breaker as Estudiantes won a violent match 2-0. This promising start did little to help the competition; due to the difference in interests between the clubs involved, the Interamerican Cup had an even more sporadic lifeline than the Intercontinental Cup; sometimes, years would go without it being played. The second edition was played four years later, in 1971, which saw Nacional edged Mexican side Cruz Azul 3-2 on aggregate. Independiente would become the only club to win the competition three times in a row, from 1972 to 1974, after seeing off Honduran club Olimpia, Guatemalan club Municipal and Mexican side Atlético Español, the last two after a penalty shoot-out. Mexico's América broke the South American hegemony after beating Boca Juniors in a play-off match in 1977. As a result of this victory, the Mexican squad argued that it had the right to participate in the Intercontinental Cup of that year; however, they were denied the opportunity. Paraguay's Olimpia returned the trophy back south in 1980 with a victory over El Salvador's FAS but Club Universidad Nacional of Mexico City defeating Uruguay's Nacional to win CONCACAF's second title.
The competition entered a state of hiatus again, this time for five years. In 1986, Argentinos Juniors would defeat Defence Force of Trinidad and Tobago in a single-match final. River Plate would keep the trophy in Argentina, for the second year running, defeating Costa Rican side Alajuelense. Uruguay's Nacional would trounce Honduras' Olimpia 5-1 on aggregate the following year. Colombia's Atlético Nacional made short work of Club Universidad Nacional; however, South America hegemony would once again be broken by América after defeating Paraguay's Olimpia. Compatriots Puebla failed to retain the trophy in Mexico after being routed by Chile'sColo-Colo. The importance of the competition decreased significantly after two Brazilian clubs, Copa Libertadores winners São Paulo (1993) and Grêmio (1995) declined to participate out of disinterest; both times, the Copa Libertadores runners-up, Chilean side Universidad Católica and Atlético Nacional took their place; each of them were pushed to the limit by Costa Rica's Saprissa. Vélez Sársfield beat Costa Rican club Cartaginés in 1994 while the last Interamerican Cup, held in 1998, saw American club D.C. United beat Vasco da Gama.
The Interamerican Cup was abolished in 1998 when Mexican clubs began to participate in the Copa Libertadores and other CONCACAF teams participated in the Copa Sudamericana. Since 2005, when FIFA adopted for the Club World Championship format clash between the champions of all continental confederations, the champions of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL again have the opportunity to meet.
Seeing the deterioration of the Intercontinental Cup, Japanese corporation Toyota took the competition under its wing. It created contractual obligations to have the Intercontinental Cup played in Japan once a year in which every club participating were obliged to participate or face legal consequences. This modern format breathed new air into the competition which saw a new trophy handed out along with the Intercontinental Cup, the Toyota Cup. None of the violence witnesses in the bitter battles of the 1960's was seen again in this new format.
The first Toyota Cup was held in 1980 which saw Uruguay's Nacional triumph over Nottingham Forest. The 1980's saw a domination by South American sides as Brazil's Flamengo and Grêmio, Uruguay's Nacional and Peñarol, Argentina's Independiente and River Plate take the spoils once each after Nacional's victory in 1980. Only Juventus, Portugal's FC Porto and Milan managed to bring the trophy to the European continent. In that decade, the English Football Association tried organizing a Club World Cup sponsored by promoting company West Nally only to be shot down by UEFA.
The 1990s proved to be a decade dominated by European teams as Milan, Red Star Belgrade, Ajax, Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester United and newcomers Borussia Dortmund of Germany were fueled to victory by its economic powers and heavy pouching of South American stars. Only three title went to South America as São Paulo and Argentina's Vélez Sársfield came out the winners, each of them defeating Milan with São Paulo's inaugural win being over Barcelona. The 2000's would see Boca Juniors win the competition twice for South America while European victories came from Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Porto. The 2004 Intercontinental Cup proved to be the last edition as the competition was absorbed into the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Afro-Asian Club Championship, sometimes referred to as the Afro-Asian Cup, was a competition endorsed by the Confederation of African Football(CAF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC), contested between the winners of the African Champions' Cup and the Asian Club Championship, the two continents' top club competitions. The championship was modelled after the Intercontinental Cup and ran from 1987 to 1999. The first two competitions held in 1986 and 1987 were contested over a single match; from 1988 until 1998 the competition was held in a two-legged tie format. The last winners were Moroccan side Raja Casablanca, who defeated South Korean side Pohang Steelers in 1998. The competition was officially discontinued following a CAF decision on 30 July 2000, after AFC representatives had supported Germany in the vote for hosting the 2006 FIFA World Cup rather than South Africa (who eventually won the bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup)
The framework of the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship, which was eventually held in Brazil, was laid years in advance; according to Sepp Blatter, the idea of a Club World Championship was presented to the Executive Committee in December 1993 in Las Vegas, United States. Since every confederation had, by then, a stable, continental championship, FIFA felt it was prudent and relevant to have a Club World Championship tournament. Initially there were nine candidates: China, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Tahiti, Turkey, United States, and Uruguay; of the nine fore mentioned, only Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay confirmed their interest to FIFA. On the grounds of the documentation submitted, FIFA chose Brazil to host the competition. Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton, one of the pillars of England's victorious campaign in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, stated that the Club World Championship is "a fantastic chance of becoming the first genuine world champions." The competition gave away US$ 28,000,000 in prize money and its TV rights, worth US$ 40,000,000, were sold to 15 broadcasters across five continents. The FIFA Organising Committee approved the procedure for the final draw on October 19, 1999 which was held at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro.
The inaugural competition had eight participants: Brazilian clubs Corinthians and Vasco da Gama, English side Manchester United, Mexican club Necaxa, Morrocan club Raja Casablanca, Spanish side Real Madrid, Saudi club Al-Nassr, and Australian club South Melbourne. The first goal of the competition was scored by Real Madrid's Nicolas Anelka; Real Madrid went on to defeat Al-Nassr 3-1 on that same match. However, the final became an all-Brazilian affair, as well as the only one which saw one side have home advantage. Vasco da Gama couldn't take advantage of its local support, being beaten by Corinthians 4–3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in extra time. The second edition of the competition was penciled in for Spain in 2001, and it was to feature 12 teams. This was cancelled owing to a combination of factors, most importantly the collapse of FIFA's marketing partner International Sport and Leisure. It was then intended to hold the event in 2003, in which Australia, Croatia, Egypt, England, Guatemala, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Tunisia, Uruguay and the United States were looking to be the host nation; this also failed to happen. FIFA eventually agreed to terms with UEFA, CONMEBOL and Toyota to absorb the Intercontinental Cup into a Club World Championship to be played in 2005. The final Intercontinental Cup was in 2004, with the first installment of the relaunched Club World Championship held in Japan between December 11 and December 18, 2005.
The 2005 version was shorter than the previous World Championship, reducing the problem of scheduling the tournament around the different club seasons across each continent. It contained just the six reigning continental champions, with the CONMEBOL and UEFA representatives receiving byes to the semi-finals. A new trophy was introduced replacing the Intercontinental trophy, the Toyota trophy and the trophy of 2000. The draw for the relaunch edition of the competition took place in Tokyo on 30 July 2005 at the The Westin Tokyo. The 2005 edition saw São Paulo pushed to the limit by Saudi side Al-Ittihad to reach the final. In the final, one goal from Mineiro was enough to dispatch English club Liverpool; Mineiro became the first player to score in a Club World Cup final. Their compatriots, Internacional, defeated defending World and South American champions São Paulo in the 2006 Copa Libertadores finals in order to gain a place in the Club World Cup. At the semifinal stage, the Colorados saw off Egyptian side Al-Ahly in order to meet Barcelona in the final. One goal from Adriano Gabiru at the closing stages of the match allowed the trophy to be kept in Brazil once again. It was in 2007 when Brazilian hegemony was finally broken: Milan disputed a close match against Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds, who were pushed by over 67,000 fans at Yokohama's International Stadium and won 1-0 to reach the final against Boca Juniors.I Rossoneri made short work of the Argentines, winning 4-2, in a match that saw the first player sent off in a Club World Cup final: Milan's Kakha Kaladze of Georgia at the 77th minute. Eleven minutes later, Boca Junior's Pablo Ledesma would join Kaladze as he too was sent off. The following year, Manchester United would emulate Milan by beating their semifinal opponents, Japan's Gamba Osaka, 5-3 and see off Ecuadorian club LDU Quito 1-0 to become world champions.
The FIFA Club World Cup returned to be contested in Japan for the 2011 and 2012 edition. In 2011, Barcelona would once again show its class after easily winning 4-0 their semifinal match against Quatari club Al-Sadd. In the final, Barcelona would repeat its performance against Santos; this is, to date, the largest winning margin by any victor of the competition. Messi also became the first player to score on two different Club World Cup finals. The 2012 edition saw Europe's dominance come to an end as Corinthians, boasting over 30,000 traveling fans which was dubbed the "Invasão da Fiel", traveled to Japan to join Barcelona and become two-time winners of the competition. In the semifinals, Al-Ahly managed to keep the scoreline close as Corinthians' Paolo Guerrero scored to send the Timão into their second final. Guerrero would once again come through for Corinthians as the Timão saw off English side English side Chelsea 1-0 in order to bring the trophy back to Brazil.
The next two FIFA Club World Cups, 2013 and 2014, will be hosted in Morocco, the first time the tournament will be held in Africa.
Corinthians and Barcelona hold the record for most victories, with each club winning the competition twice since its inception. Teams from Brazil have won the tournament the most times, with four winners produced from the nation. Africa's best representative, to date, is Congolese club Mazembe; they remain the only non-European and non-South American side to dispute a final. Mexican clubs Necaxa and Monterrey, as well as Costa Rica's Saprissa, have each earned third place, North America's best results. The bronze medals by Japanese clubs Urawa Red Diamonds, Gamba Osaka, South Korean club Pohang Steelers and Qatari side Al Sadd remains as Asia's best results in the tournament. No Oceanian club has ever reached the semifinals. Corinthians' inaugural victory remains as the best result from a host nation's national league champions.
As of 2012, most teams qualify to the FIFA Club World by winning their continental competitions, be it the Asian AFC Champions League, African CAF Champions League, North American CONCACAF Champions League, South American Copa Libertadores, Oceanian OFC Champions League or European UEFA Champions League. Along with the fore mentioned, the host nation's national league champions qualify to dispute the tournament as well.
The maiden edition of this competition was separated into two rounds. The eight participants were split into two groups of four teams. The winner of each group would meet in the final while the runners-up played for third place. The competition changed its format during the 2005 relaunch into a single-elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide the winner if necessary. It featured six clubs competing over a two week period. There were three stages: the quaterfinal round, the semifinal round and the final. The quaterfinal stage pits the Oceanian Champions League winners, the African Champions League winners, the Asian Champions League winners and the North American Champions League winners against one other club. Afterwards, the winners of those games would go on to the semifinals to join the European Champions League winners and South America's Copa Libertadores winners. The victors of each semifinal would play go on to play in the final.
With the introduction of the current format, which now has a fifth place match and a place for the host nation's national league champions, the format slightly changed. There are now four stages: the playoff round, the quaterfinal round, the semifinal round and the final. The first stage pits the host nation's national league champions against the Oceanian Champions League winners. The winner of that series would go on the quaterfinals to join the African Champions League winners, the Asian Champions League winners and the North American Champions League winners. After a pair of matches pitting one against the other, the winners of those games would go on to the semifinals to join the European Champions League winners and South America's Copa Libertadores winners. The victors of each semifinal would play go on to play in the final.
Just as the women’s trophy had a distinct feminine note to it, so this new trophy is more masculine. It is also inspired by a classic sense of geometry and architecture, enduring concepts just like the status of a World Champion.
There has been two trophies handed out to the world champions. The trophy used during the inaugural competition was called the FIFA Club World Championship Cup. The original laurel was created by Sawaya & Moroni, an Italian designer company that produces contemporary designs with cultural backgrounds and design concepts. The designing firm is based in Milan. The fully-silver colored trophy had a weight of 4 kg and a height of 37.5 cm. Its base and widest points are 10 cm long. The trophy had a base of two pedestals which had four rectangular pillars. Two of the four pillars had incriptions on it; one contained the phrase, "FIFA Club World Championship" imprinted across. The other had the letters "FIFA" incribed on it. On top, a football based on the 1998 FIFA World Cup ball Adidas Tricolore ball can be seen. The production cost of the laurel was US$ 25,000. It was presented for the first time at Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Rio de Janeiro on January 4, 2000.
The tournament, in its present format, shares its name with the current trophy, also called the FIFA Club World Cup or simply la Copa, which is awarded to the FIFA Club World Cup winner. It was unveiled at Tokyo in 30 July 2005 during the draw of that year's edition of the competition. The laurel was designed in 2005 in Birmingham, United Kingdom at the Thomas Fattorini jewellery shop by English designer Jane Powell, alongside his assistant Dawn Forbesat, at the behest of FIFA. The gold-and-silver colored trophy, weighing 5.2 kg, has a height of 50 cm. Its base and widest points are also measured at exactly 20 cm. It is made out of a combination of brass, copper, sterling silver, gilding metal, aluminium, chrome and rhodium. The trophy itself is gold plated. So far, only Manchester United were capable of bringing the trophy to its birth land.
The design, according to FIFA, shows six staggered pillars, representing the six participating teams from the respective six confederations, and one separate metal structure referencing the winner of the competition. They hold up a globe in the shape of a football – a consistent feature amongst almost all of FIFA’s event trophies. The graceful curves and inherent strength of the trophy evoke the balletic and athletic qualities necessary to successfully compete in the FIFA Club World Cup and the tension and movement describe the competitive energy amongst the participants. The golden pedastal has the phrase, "FIFA Club World Cup Toyota [year]", imprinted at the bottom.
The Most Valuable Player of the Final Match Trophy for the best performing player in the FIFA Club World Cup final. First awarded in 2005. The MVP of the Final Match is also rewarded with an automobile by Toyota, the presenting sponsor of the FIFA Club World Cup.
The winners of the competition also receive the FIFA Club World Cup Champions Badge; it features an image of the trophy, which the reigning champion is entitled to display on its kit until the final of the next championship. Initially, all four previous champions were allowed to wear the badge until the 2008 final, where Manchester United gained the sole right to wear the badge by winning the trophy.
Each player from the clubs finishing third, second and first will also receive one bronze, silver and gold medal each, respectively.
The 2000 FIFA Club World Championship was the inaugural edition of this competition; it provided US$ 28,000,000 in prize money for its participants. The prize money received by the participating clubs was divided into fixed payments based on participation and results. Clubs finishing the tournament from fifth to eighth place received US$ 2,500,000. The club who would eventually finish in fourth place received US$ 3,000,000 while the third-place team received US$ 4,000,000. The runner-up earned US$ 5,000,000 while the eventual champions would gain US$ 6,000,000.
The relaunch of the tournament in 2005 FIFA Club World Championship saw different amounts of prize money given and some changes in the criteria of receiving certain amounts. The total amount of prize money given became US$ 16,000,000. The sixth-placed team now earns US$ 1,000,000. Teams finishing in fifth place get US$ 1,500,000. Two millions dollars are given to the loser of the third-place match while US$ 2,500,000 are awarded to clubs that managed to finish third. The runner-up of an edition gets US$ 4,000,000 while the winners are rewarded with US$ 5,000,000.
For the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup, a play-off match between the OFC champions and the host-nation champions for entry into the quarter-final stage was introduced in order to increase home interest in the tournament. The reintroduction of the match for fifth place for the 2008 competition also prompted an increase in prize money by US$ 500,000 to a total of US$ 16,500,000 million.
Because Toyota is an automaker and is the main sponsor of the tournament, Hyundai-Kia's status as FIFA partner is not active with respect to the Club World Cup. The five other FIFA partners – Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Sony, and Visa – retain full sponsorship rights, however.
Individual clubs may wear jerseys with advertising, even if such sponsors conflict with those of the FIFA Club World Cup. However, only one main sponsor is permitted per jersey in addition to that of the kit manufacturer.
Barcelona claims the record with the most wins with five victories. Corinthians, Necaxa, Real Madrid and Kashiwa Reysol have the most draws, with each having a pair, while Al Ahly have the dubious record of the most losses with a total of seven. The culés also possesses the record for most goals scored on the competition, with 17 goals, while Al Ahly claims the record of most goals conceded with 15. Barcelona also has the best goal average in the history of the competition with a mark of 14+.
As of the end of the 2012 tournament, Barcelona and Corinthians have played the most games with six each. Barcelona holds the record for scoring the most goals, playing six games in three different editions and scoring 17 goals.
↑Originally, the 1953 competition was supposed to include 4 Brazilian teams and 4 foreign teams, but the Uruguayan Football Association prohibited Club Nacional de Montevideo from participating on the verge of the competition, and this club was replaced by Fluminense, as there was not enough time to search for a foreign substitute.