Real Madrid, Ancelotti confirm Club World Cup involvement

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Real Madrid and manager Carlo Ancelotti have confirmed that the Champions League winners will participate in next year’s Club World Cup, despite Ancelotti previously stating that the club would “refuse the invitation.”

Ancelotti’s original remark was published in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Giornale on Monday.

However, the 65-year-old later clarified on social media that his words were “not interpreted in the way I intended.”

He added: “Nothing could be further from my interest than to reject the possibility of playing in a tournament that I consider could be a great opportunity to continue fighting for big titles with Real Madrid.”

Real are one of 12 European teams already qualified for the 32-team Fifa tournament to be held in the USA between 15 June and 13 July 2025.

In a statement, the La Liga champions said: “Real Madrid would like to announce that at no time has there been any question regarding our participation in the new Club World Cup to be organised by Fifa in the coming 2024/2025 season.

“Our club will therefore take part, as planned, in this official competition and we are proud and excited to be involved in it and we will once again inspire our millions of fans all over the world with another trophy.”

In the interview with Il Giornale, Ancelotti was quoted as saying: “FIFA can forget it, footballers and clubs will not participate in that tournament.

“A single Real Madrid match is worth 20 million and Fifa wants to give us that amount for the whole cup. Negative. Like us, other clubs will refuse the invitation.”

The European Club Association (ECA) distanced itself from Ancelotti’s interview remarks.

Last month, FIFA refuted claims that world players’ union Fifpro and the World Leagues Association (WLA), which includes the Premier League, were not consulted about the tournament plans.

Fifpro and the WLA have called on FIFA to reschedule the tournament and have threatened legal action.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has previously expressed concerns, stating that the football calendar is “getting to a tipping point” due to the increasing number of matches teams are required to play.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino recently expressed his hope that Fifpro and the WLA would cease this “futile debate.”

“Even with the new Club World Cup of Fifa with 32 teams and 63 matches every four years, Fifa is organising around 1% of the games of the top clubs in the world,” he said.

“All other matches, 98, 99%, are organised by the different leagues, associations, confederations, by all of you – and that’s good.

“But here comes the thing – the one or two per cent of matches that Fifa organises is financing football all over the world.”