Bracket Play-off Quarterfinals Semifinals Final 7 December - Tokyo Sepahan 10 December - Toyota City Waitakere United 13 December - Yokohama Urawa Reds AC Milan 16 December - Yokohama 9 December - Tokyo Étoile du Sahel 12 December - Tokyo Pachuca Third place Boca Juniors 16 December - Yokohama
Well, for years, the Club World Cup was only a dream. A dream that everyone knew it probably wouldn't happen, and if even if it did, it wouldn't be all too successful. But this year's competition could start to change the tide of that thinking. With some of the worlds' best and each continent's best, the tourney should start to draw more attention. The host of the tourney will once again be Japan. Hopefully this year the turnout for all games will be greater than last year's. Now, I will list the key for the clubs that are relatively known throughout the world. Sorry, but I just don't have enough information to tell about those teams.
1. Urawa Reds- the Japanese side are a very good team who can hang with almosy any European side out their. They are a good side, who are going to have to use their speed to their advantage. They will also have to play defence if they want to win, and I mean some strong defence.
2. Pachuca- The champion of North America are a very dangerous side. They have defeated all the best the United States and the rest of Mexico put in front of them. The key to winning for them will be to play their game. They have done it almost all year, and if they do so in this tourney, they will have a very good chance at winning.
3. AC Milan- the UEFA Champions League winner are as dangerous as any team in the world. They are lead by Brazilian midfielder Kaka, captain Paolo Maldini, and striker Philipo Inzaghi among others. The key to the Italian's side's victory is how the defence and goalkeeper plays. I think the offence will come, but they have to sure up that defence. They need a good performance from Dida, or at least not a bad one. If Dida keeps it steady, and doesn't make mistakes, Milan will be fine behind Kaka who I predict will win the Golden Ball Award of the tourney.
4. Boca Juniors- some could argue that this side "backed in" to the Club World Cup. Not because of their previous losses, but because of the loss of Juan Ramon Riquelme. After he has been ruled out, some would sya they don't have a chance. But that isn't true, not one bit. He is a great player on a great team, and you can believe that he will fight that decision until the club's first match in the tourney. But any true fan will tell you this, Boca can win any title they want and this is no exception.
Hopefully this will be the best Club World Cup yet. Maybe it will lead to more exposure (an example would be ESPN picking up the games).
*I want to say that this blog was helped out a whole heck of a lot by wikipedia.com and FIFA.com. Tune in to the FIFA World Cup starting tomorrow. I'm not sure if all the matches are going to be on Fox Soccer Channel, but some will be.*