Barcelona captain Carles Puyol lifts the trophy with team-mates after the FIFA Club World Cup Final match between Santosl and Barcelona at the Yokohama International Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Yokohama, Japan.
All three editions of the FIFA Club World Cup have culminated
in Brazilian sides being crowned champions: Corinthians in 2000,
Sao Paulo in 2005 and SC Internacional de Porto Alegre in 2006.
That is surely no coincidence, and can be considered all the more
impressive for the fact that the beaten finalists in the last two
tournaments have been the heavily-tipped European champions.
It was billed as the champion of champions tournament. The six confederation winners met in Japan for the right to be called the best on the planet. And the FIFA Club World Championship TOYOTA Cup Japan 2005 lived up to the hype, proving to be a largely even contest and a knockout for fans.
The FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil was the first
international footballing event of the new millennium. With a
mind-boggling array of top-tier talent on display, the brave, new
move towards a more globalised club football community made for
quite a showcase indeed. Eight club sides representing every corner
of Planet Football converged on Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to
bask under the warm South American sun in the nation considered by
most to be the true heart and soul of the beautiful game.