Listening Report: 2015 FIFA Club World Cup
The FIFA Club World Cup has been running in its present format since 2000, although there was a gap after 20o0 until 2005 meaning that this year is the 12th time it has been held. The champions of the six world football federations take part, plus a team from the host nation: in this case a Japanese team. The two champions from UEFA and CONMEBOL enter the competition at the semi-final stage, later than the other teams. This reflects the strength of the European and South American teams.
In this competition, you can’t look past the champions of Europe and South America. Indeed, teams from these regions are the only ones to win the competition. Europe has seven titles and South America four. This year, an on-fire Barcelona side, led in attack by Messi, Suarez and Neymar, must be considered favourites, but River Plate will be no pushovers and will want to win badly as this is their first time in the tournament. It must be said that their domestic form doesn’t inspire confidence as they finished ninth in the league.
New Zealand side Auckland were most pundits underdogs, and they are already out of the competition, having lost to Japanese outfit, Hiroshima 2-0. Although they have qualified for 5 back to back tournaments, they rarely progress, although they did have a third place finish last year beating Cruz Azul on penalties.
Reaching the finals in 2010 means Congolese team TP Mazembe have the experience to progress. They face Hiroshima in the quarter finals and then, if they progress, have a tie against River Plate. It’s a long shot but they could be facing Barcelona in the final in the Yokohama Stadium on the 20th of December. They have great form at home, losing only one out of ten games and will be hoping star striker Mbwana Samatta can help them progress.
Interesting Match Up
The quarter-final between Mexican outfit América and the powerhouse of the Chinese domestic league, Guangzhou Evergrande, should be intriguing. Traditionally East Asian sides have not done well in this kind of tournament and you would usually pick the big Mexican side to be favourites. However, Guangzhou made the semi finals losing to Bayern Munich and as they are managed by experienced coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Chinese side will be confident. This match could be a symbol of a power shift in world football towards Asia and especially China.
Which team do you think will come out on top in this year’s 2015 FIFA Club World Cup? Let us know by posting a comment below.
can’t look past: if you can’t look past a team, it means that team is a strong favourite
on fire: in good form; playing extremely well
pushovers: a pushover is a weak team that is easily beaten
form: latest results; recent performances
underdogs: the weakest team; the unfancied team
a long shot: unlikely; a gamble
come out on top: win
- Wikipedia’s page on the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup