Real Madrid News
Real Madrid assured of a spot in the revamped FIFA Club World Cup 2025
The FIFA Club World Cup is set to receive a major revamp in 2025 as the competition expands to 32 teams for the first time in its history. Considering that the event has only hosted seven teams in editions so far, the change is massive.
Of the 32 slots in the competition, 12 are expected to be reserved for European teams with four each for Asia, Africa and North America respectively. South America receives a representation of six teams, and one seat each for Oceania and the host nation round off the event.
According to reports from The Times, eight of the 12 places reserved for Europe will be decided based on the performance-related coefficient of the club. The remaining four slots will go to the winners of the Champions League between 2022 and 2025.
In such a distribution, Real Madrid’s participation in the coveted event in 2025 is all but confirmed given that the Merengues lifted the UCL trophy last season. In the process, they become the first European side to qualify for the event.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men also happen to be the reigning Club World Cup champions as they saw off a strong Al-Hilal side in the final earlier this month to win the accolade.
The new format will be a treat to the eyes of football fans across the globe, bringing scintillating fixtures to the screen regularly.
However, the proposal has not gone down well with leagues and player welfare organisations who feel the hectic schedule will prove detrimental to players’ fitness and welfare.
Real Madrid’s guaranteed qualification will not reduce the club’s hunger for UCL success in any way as the Merengues take on Liverpool in the first leg of the Round of 16 later today. The men in white may not be the strongest team, yet, are always favourites in the competition.
Real Madrid News
Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash
In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.
The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.
It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.
Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.
With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.
The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.
One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.
As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.
If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing.