Real Madrid have learned their possible opponents for the FIFA Club World Cup that is set to take place in Morocco next month.
The Merengues enter the competition at the semi-final stages of the competition courtesy of their UEFA Champions League triumph last season.
Real Madrid have been joined by Auckland City, Seattle Sounders, Al Ahly, Flamengo, Wydad Casablanca and Al Hilal in the competition that pits the champions of all continental competitions.
Of these teams, Real Madrid and Flamengo enter the tournament directly in the semi-final stages. With the draw now being completed, the first-round encounter will pit Al Ahly against Auckland City (M1).
The winners of that game will take on Seattle Sounders in the second round (M2) while the other fixture at this stage will see Wydad lock horns with Al Hilal (M3).
As per the draw, Real Madrid will face the winners of M2, meaning they could come up against Al Ahly, Auckland City, or Seattle Sounders in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Meanwhile, Flamengowould face either Al Hilal or Wydad in the second semi-finals.
Real Madrid’s semi-final tie is scheduled to take place on February 8, while the final will take place on February 11. Los Blancos are the most successful team in the history of the FIFA Club World Cup and will be aiming to win the competition again.
Ancelotti ‘liked’ €70 million Portuguese full-back offered to Real Madrid in January
Joao Cancelo has, for a long time, been considered one of the best full-backs in the world of football. What makes the Portuguese international special is not just his ability to contribute flawlessly at both ends of the field but also the fact that he can recreate his magic on both flanks.
For a player of such quality to depart Manchester City unsurprisingly broke the internet. Cancelo signed for Bayern Munich on a six-month loan in January with a whopping €70 million purchase clause included in the paperwork.
According to reports from AS, the player preferred a move to Spain. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were offered Cancelo’s services, and it was only after both La Liga giants rejected it that Bayern Munich got the chance to sign him.
For the Catalans, the player’s salary was the hurdle preventing his arrival. In Real Madrid’s case, however, it was the board’s reluctance to change the squad midway through the season.
For a long time now, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile in winter transfer windows. Carlo Ancelotti liked the full-back’s profile and saw him as a good fit, but the management would not hear of it.
Real Madrid have had a torrid time at the full-back position in recent weeks, indicating that the squad was in urgent need of new signings.
For almost a month, Ancelotti has been without a right-back after both Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal suffered injuries. Just as the latter recovered, Ferland Mendy hobbled off the field and could miss six weeks of action.
Cancelo’s signing would have thus been the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. Nevertheless, the management have their faith in the young Vinicius Tobias and it remains to be seen if their gamble pays off.