The 1-0 victory over Athletico-PR, yesterday, at the Monumental stadium in Guayaquil (Ecuador), gave Flamengo the title of the Copa Libertadores da América and also the right to represent the continent in the next edition of the Club World Cup.
The point is that FIFA has not yet decided when or where the competition to define the best football team on the planet will be held.
The tournament, which is normally played in December, cannot be held on its traditional date due to the coincidence of dates with the 2022 Cup. Thus, the trend is that the dispute stays for the first half of next year.
Initially, the United Arab Emirates and China were pointed out as the favorites to host the World Cup. But the two countries have already given up on the organization. At the moment, the ball of the moment is the United States.
But what awaits Flamengo in the FIFA tournament?
To answer this question, the “Blog do Rafael Reis” presents a complete guide with details about each of the six foreign teams already confirmed for the tournament. Two spots are still open: the one destined for the national champion of the host country and the one that goes to the winner of the Asian Champions League, whose final is only scheduled for February.
REAL MADRID (ESP)
European Champions League Winner
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti (ITA)
Highlight: Karim Benzema (FRA)
Brazilians: 3 (Éder Militão, Rodrygo and Vinícius Júnior)
Best campaign in Worlds: Champion in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018
Performance this season: 86.3%
It is even difficult to find words to describe the size of the most victorious and powerful club in world football. Real is simply the biggest winner in the history of Spain (35 titles), the European Champions League (14 cups) and the FIFA tournament (4 cups). It’s also a machine for winning prizes for the best player on the planet: Karim Benzema, who recently won the Ballon d’Or, joined a group that also includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo Fenômeno, Luka Modric, Luís Figo, Fabio Cannavaro Alfredo di Stefano and Raymond Kopa. The current team of the white giants has at least four pillars: goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is one of the best of his generation and tired of saving the team in the last Champions League, Croatian Luka Modric commands the midfield, Benzema is the goalkeeper and Brazilian Vinícius Júnior represents the audacity of individual play and the promise that Real will remain at the top for a long time to come.
SEATLLE SOUNDERS (USA)
Concacaf Champions League Winner
Coach: Brian Schmetzer (ALE)
Featured: Stefan Frei (SUI)
Brazilians: 2 (João Paulo and Léo Chú)
Best Campaign at Worlds: Rookie
Performance this season: 46.4%
Even if they are not chosen to host the World Cup, the United States will have, for the first time in history, a representative in the FIFA tournament. Thanks to brilliant performances by goalkeeper Stefan Frei, named the competition’s best player, the Seattle Sounders ended a 16-year Mexican hegemony and became the first North American club to become Concacaf champions this century (the last victory back in 2000, with the Los Angeles Galaxy). The problem is that, after the unprecedented achievement, little went right for the Sounders. The team had a mediocre campaign in the MLS (Major League Soccer) and did not even qualify for the decisive playoffs (it was only placed 21st in the classification phase). The cast of the Seattle franchise is quite aged and its main key pieces are already in the final stretch of their career. Frei himself is already 36 years old. Captain Nicolás Lodeiro (ex-Botafogo and Corinthians), 33. And top scorer Raúl Ruidíaz is 32.
WYDAD CASABLANCA (MAR)
African Champions League Winner
Coach: Houcine Ammouta (MAR)
Featured: Yahya Jabrane (MAR)
Best campaign in World Cups: Sixth place in 2017
Use this season: 70.8%
No, this time the African representative at the World Cup will not be Al-Ahly. The Egyptians even reached the decision of the Champions League for the third consecutive time, but ended up being defeated by another force from the north of the continent. Wydad does not have such an internationally known squad, but it has a good chance of scoring up to three names in the Moroccan squad for the Qatar World Cup: goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti, left-back Yahia Attiat-Allah and midfielder and captain Yahya Jabrane. Who also deserves special attention is the skilled left winger Zouhair El Moutaraji, vice-top scorer of the last African Champions League and author of the two goals in the decision against Al-Ahly.
AUCKLAND CITY (NZL)
Oceania Champions League Winner
Coach: Albert Riera (ESP)
Featured: Cameron Howieson (NZL)
Best campaign in World Cups: Third place in 2014
Performance this season: 66.7%
Ever since Australian clubs left Oceania to compete in Asian competitions, Auckland has ruled the continent. No wonder the New Zealand team is the most frequent participant in the history of the World Cup and will compete in the competition for the tenth time. Despite having already had a historic campaign in 2014, Auckland will once again be the ugly duckling of the FIFA tournament due to the low technical quality of its squad. The team depends too much on midfielder Cameron Howieson, the only one of its players who usually serves the New Zealand national team, and on goals scored by Argentine striker Emiliano Tade, the greatest scorer in Auckland’s history, but who has already started to feel the effects of having 34 years and has been yielding less each day.