Some of the finest football clubs from various continents will be aiming to win the 19th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup to be staged in Morocco from February 1–10, 2023.
Seven football giants, including Real Madrid, Flamengo, Wydad Athletic Club, Auckland City, Al-Hilal, Al Ahly, and the Seattle Sounders, would battle in Morocco’s cities of Rabat and Tangiers for the coveted trophy.
The Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier, Morocco, would be the centre of attraction on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, when the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup officially kicks off.
It kicks off with a first-round clash between two continental giants, Egypt’s Al Ahly and New Zealand’s Auckland City.
Al Ahly, the 10-time African champions, kick off their campaign on Wednesday against Oceania Football Confederation powerhouse Auckland City for a place in the second round.
Auckland City hold the record for the most appearances (10) at the FIFA Club World Cup and would be looking to replicate their bronze-medal winning performance when the tournament was staged in Morocco back in 2014.
But it won’t come easy against an Al Ahly side that beat the Navy Blues 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Club World Cup in Japan, with goals from Flavio and legendary African football icon Mohamed Aboutrika.
The winner of this tie would face the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer this Saturday in Tangier.
After defeating Mexican side Pumas in last year’s Champions League Concacaf finals, the Seattle Sounders would become the first United States team to compete in the Club World Cup on Saturday.
Wydad Athletic Club, the reigning CAF Champions League champions, would face Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal of Riyadh, who qualified by virtue of being the 2021 Asian Cup champions.
The Moroccan side would have the entire country behind them, especially following the impressive outing by the Atlas Lions in last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Real Madrid and Flamengo, who are traditional heavyweights from Europe and South America respectively, would kick off their campaign in the semis as they await winners from the first and second rounds.
The Los Blancos, who won the 2014 edition hosted by Morocco, would be chasing their fifth title, as they currently hold the record for most titles won.