A – Partial – Defence Of The Club World Cup

On Sunday morning – if you happen to be in Western Europe – the champions of world club football will be crowned, as the final of the 2011 Club World Cup is played at the International Stadium in Yokohama between Barcelona, the current champions of Europe, and Santos of Brazil, the current champions of South America. The Club World Cup has been running since 2004, but it has yet to engage a great deal of interest in Europe. This, however, has to be seen in considerable contrast with the credibility of the tournament in other parts of the world, and in Brazil Sunday’s match is already being talked about as being one of the most important in the history of Santos, which, considering that this is a club that was Pele’s club for eighteen years, has won the Campeonato Paulista on nineteen occasions, the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A on eight occasions and the Copa Libertadores three times, can only be regarded as quite something. European disdain for this particular tournament is not a particularly new phenomenon. We can only hint at the possible reasons for this, from the fact that it is hosted in the middle of the domestic season and on the other side of the world right through to its timing. It easy to complie a case for the current format of the tournament – which has...

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