The FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 begins in just a few days, when the current champions from FIFA’s six confederations - plus the host nation’s current league holders - will battle it out for the coveted title of club world champions.
From 11 December, Al Ahly SC (Egypt/CAF), Atletico Mineiro (Brazil/CONMEBOL), Auckland City FC (New Zealand/OFC), CF Monterrey (Mexico/CONCACAF), Guangzhou Evergrande FC (China PR/AFC), FC Bayern München (Germany/UEFA) and Raja Casablanca (Morocco/Hosts) will begin their quest to be crowned the best club in the world. FIFA.com delves into the history books and statistics to gather the most interesting figures from this tournament.
An average of 35,960 fans have attended each of the 75 FIFA Club World Cup matches to date. Two games from the first edition of the tournament in Brazil in 2000 jointly hold the attendance record, when 73,000 spectators watched Vasco de Gama defeat Manchester United 3-1 and Corinthians beat Vasco 4-3 on penalties in Rio de Janeiro.
Emad Mohamed, from Iranian club Sepahan, scored just 240 seconds after kick-off in his club’s 1-0 win over New Zealand’s Waitakere United in 2007, a goal that remains the fastest in the history of the FIFA Club World Cup. The quickest-scoring substitutes were Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Pachuca midfielder Luis Montes; both scored just 60 seconds after entering the fray during the 2008 tournament in Japan.
220 goals have been scored in the 75 Club World Cup matches played to date, with eight struck in Manchester United’s 5-3 victory over Gamba Osaka in 2008 – a tournament record. Barcelona’s four-time FIFA World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi, Pohang Steelers striker Denilson and Mohamed Aboutrika of Al Ahly currently head the FIFA Club World Cup all-time goalscorers’ list with four goals each. Aboutrika has the chance to become the competition’s outright leading scorer if he finds the target this year.
196 centimetres is the height of Bayern’s Belgian defender Daniel van Buyten, making him the tallest player in this year’s tournament ahead of Giovanni (195cm) and Victor (194cm), who both play for Atletico Mineiro. Al Ahly’s Ahmed Kenawi is the shortest player in any of this year’s squads, standing 33cm shorter than Van Buyten.
160 players are included in the seven squads at this year’s FIFA Club World Cup 2013, representing 31 countries. As you might expect, many of the players come from Egypt, Brazil, China PR, Germany, Mexico, Morocco and New Zealand, but players from Mauritania, Denmark and Fiji also feature in this year’s squads. Atletico Mineiro is the only club whose squad exclusively contains players from its home country.
46 teams from 23 different countries have featured in the previous nine editions of this tournament. This year, Bayern, Guangzhou Evergrande and Atletico Mineiro are appearing in their first Club World Cup, making it the first time that clubs from Germany or China PR have been represented in the competition.
At 38 years of age, Al Ahly centre-back Wael Gomaa is the oldest player at this edition of the tournament, while the youngest is Auckland City goalkeeper Oliver Sail, who has not yet turned 18. The New Zealand team are also the youngest squad in the competition with an average age of just over 25, with Atletico Mineiro's average of 28 making them the oldest.
The 2013 tournament in Morocco is the tenth edition of the Club World Cup and the first time the competition has been held on African soil. To date, the title has only been won by teams from South America and Europe, with four and five wins respectively. In 2010, TP Mazembe Englebert (DR Congo/CAF) were the first and, so far, only team from any other confederation to reach the title decider. Al Ahly and Auckland City have made the most tournament appearances with five each (including 2013).
Three players will celebrate their birthdays during this year’s tournament. Atletico right-back Marcos Rocha turns 25 on 11 December, while Raja Casablanca players Chemseddine Chtibi and Idrissa Coulibaly turn 31 and 26 on 14 and 19 December respectively. If the Moroccan side win their opening match against Auckland City, Chtibi will be rewarded with a birthday encounter against Monterrey.