With Chelsea’s historic second Champions League win, they also qualified for their second entry in the FIFA Club World Cup. It’s a major competition, but not one that most football fans know much about, especially in Europe (it’s a little more popular in Asia and South America).
If you’re one of the uninitiated and are a little clueless about what this competition entails, well, you’ve landed in the right place. Beginner’s guide, a bible for newbies, call it what you will, this has everything you need.
Let’s start with a little history lesson. The FIFA Club World Cup is not that old; the 2021 edition will only be the 18th time teams get together to fight for one of the highest club honors.
The setup is thus: the winners from all of the six continental federations, in addition to the league champions from the host country, all take part. It customarily takes place in December, with this year’s edition happening in Japan. The six federations include the winners of the AFC Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, CAF Champions League, OFC Champions League, CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores, and the UEFA Champions League.
The record-winning side is not at all surprising, with Real Madrid holding a record of 4 trophies. Considering they are also the record-holders for the Champions League (and European Cup), it arguably makes Madrid the most successful club side in history.
The record goal scorer? You won’t get any prizes for guessing this one, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way with 7 goals. He may not have as many Ballon d’Or trophies as his rival Leo Messi, but he sure knows how to break goal-scoring records.
The last title was won by the imperious Bayern Munich, with Benjamin Pavard breaking the deadlock against Mexico’s Tigres UANL, Concacaf Champions League winners. The score wouldn’t change, with the Germans walking away 1-0 winners.
The goal didn’t come easily. Pavard’s effort will not be winning any goal of the season awards, a relatively simple rebound that required extensive checks from VAR. With just over half an hour on the clock, the goal was finally given by officials.
The meager scoreline doesn’t really tell the whole story, however. Bayern dominated the match, with 56% possession and 17 shots on goal, against just 6 attempts from the Mexican side. Tigres were lucky not to concede more than just a single goal.
The win was a significant one for the German side, becoming only the second club side to add six titles to their list in a span of 12 months. The last team to do so was one for the ages, Pep Guardiola’s 2009 Barcelona squad.
The tournament also has a third-place playoff; in last year’s edition, El Ahly squeezed past Palmeiras 3-2, winning after an exciting penalty shootout. The match itself wasn’t anything to write home about, ending 0-0 after 90 minutes.
Football Betting and Betting Tips for World Cup
No matter how you slice it, Chelsea will be heavy favorites to take the title home. Yes, they may not put the tournament at the top of their priority list this year, especially with a particularly grueling Premier League season ahead, but this is still a tournament the Londoners will want to add to their list of honors.
The bookies agree, with pretty much every single bookmarker offering short odds on Tuchel’s men to win the tournament with some ease. But just because you want to place your money on Chelsea to win, doesn’t mean you can’t grab decent odds. Of course, you could also learn all there is about the good sides and shortcomings of every team, as you can make mutual bets that will include your favorite or some other good players.
Something to note is that to entice new punters, online sportsbooks pretty much copied online casinos in their bonus offerings. What we can learn by reading out guides on online casinos like casinos.co.za, casinos are not only in charge of providing a vast variety of games, but also making sure to take care of their customers by offering extra bets, sign-up bonuses, or multiplying the initial outlay.
Similarly, sportbookies don’t only cover some heated games, but include bonuses that often involve drastically improving the odds of the so-called doubles, e.g. Chelsea to win and Werner to score in the final (disclaimer: based on his last season, don’t bet on Werner to score!). Or a free first bet bonus you can use as a newbie. This means that by learning about the bonuses, you have the chance to get way better deals.
If you’re looking to put some money down when it comes to the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup, take advantage of these bonuses. Most gamblers will waste them because they’re ‘free’. They’ll put in crazy bets on a sports game or approach the roulette table with no strategy, or bet on defenders to score a header (rarely happens). Be smart, and approach bonuses the same way you’d approach your own bankroll, as they will surely upgrade your football betting decisions.
Even though betting odds almost guarantee a win for the Blues, that doesn’t mean the tournament’s result is a foregone conclusion. Al Ahly’s charismatic coach, Pitso Mosimane, believes his squad has every chance to challenge.
Winning 3-0 to defeat the Kaizer Chiefs and secure their historic tenth title campaign, the team is full of confidence. Perhaps a little unlucky to lose 2-0 against Bayern in last year’s semis, the players are confident they can improve on 2020’s result.
Can they do it? The odds are still stacked against them, but anything can happen in football. Just ask 2005’s Milan side! In any case, the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup promises to be an exciting addition to this year’s fixture list.