Real Madrid say they will be at Club World Cup, whether FIFA can pay for it or not

real madrid

June 11 – Real Madrid have argued that their participation in the expanded 2025 Club World Cup was never in doubt, backtracking on a comment by manager Carlo Ancelotti that the Spanish giant would boycott the competition. 

In an interview with Italian daily newspaper Il Giornale, the manager explained that his club was not ready to participate in a tournament that will allow FIFA to tap into the lucrative club market.

He said: “A single Real Madrid game is worth €20 million and FIFA wants to give us that amount for the entire cup. Negative. Like us, other clubs will turn down the invite.”

Ancelotti’s words seemed to confirm Madrid’s role as a villain in the European football landscape. The club and its president Florentino Perez were at the heart of breakaway Super League plans that collapsed within the space of 48 hours and the Spanish giants have been alienated from the European Club Association (ECA), an organisation that looks after the interests of the major clubs and last year renewed a working agreement with FIFA.

But in a matter of hours, Real Madrid, recent winners of a record 15th European, issued a statement that rebutted Ancelotti’s claims.

“Real Madrid never questioned its participation in the new Club World Cup to be organized by FIFA,” said the club in a statement.

“Therefore, our club will compete, as planned, in this official competition that we face with pride and with the utmost enthusiasm to make our millions of fans around the world dream again with a new title.”

On social media, Ancelotti didn’t deny he had made the statement but said his words had been misinterpreted.

Madrid’s confirmation means the club’s brigade of burgeoning superstars Kylian Mbappé, Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham will feature at the first 32-team Club World Cup that the United States will host in the summer of 2025.

FIFA is yet to announce commercial deals for the tournament and is understood to be struggling to find sponsors to underwrite the competition. However, FIFA may look toward Saudi Arabia to bankroll the tournament. The Associated Press reports that FIFA “has been in talks with tech giant Apple about a global streaming rights deal”.

Typically, Madrid bank around €10 million per Champions League match and European clubs, including Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, will be keen on picking up the prize money from the Club World Cup, even if FIFA is yet to disclose the details of a prize pot that is expected to run into millions of dollars.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1719301554labto1719301554ofdlr1719301554owedi1719301554sni@i1719301554tnuk.1719301554ardni1719301554mas1719301554