The fans making their way to Japan are counting down the days to the start of the 12th FIFA Club World Cup, when the champions of the six confederations and the host nation’s title holders will vie for the biggest club title of all, with Osaka and Yokohama staging the tournament’s eight games.
The first of those matches, between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City, is nearly upon us, and to set the scene, FIFA.com has dipped into the record books to reveal just some of the intriguing statistics that the Club World Cup has produced over the years.
The number of fans who turned up for the group match between Manchester United and Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro in the inaugural tournament in 2000, a figure that was matched a few days later when Corinthians faced Vasco in the final. Those attendances have yet to be bettered in the Club World Cup.
The height in metres of Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique, TP Mazembe defender Salif Coulibaly and Guangzhou Evergrande goalkeeper Li Shuai (6’4), who are the tallest players at Japan 2015. At the opposite end of the scale is TP Mazembe forward Soloman Asante, the shortest man in the competition at 1.59 metres (5’3) tall.
The age of TP Mazembe goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba, the oldest player in this year’s competition, while Auckland City midfielder Clayton Lewis is the tournament’s youngest player at 18.
The tournament-record number of Club World Cup matches that the Egyptian trio of Wael Gomaa, Hossam Ashour and Mohamed Aboutrika have each played in, all for Al Ahly.
The highest number of goals scored in a Club World Cup match. The game in a question was the Japan 2008 semi-final between Manchester United and Gamba Osaka, the English side running out 5-3 winners.
The number of players who have scored for more than one team at the Club World Cup. Ronaldinho (Barcelona and Atletico Mineiro), Dwight Yorke (Manchester United and Sydney FC) and Neri Cardozo (Boca Juniors and Monterrey) are the only players to have managed the feat thus far.
Auckland City will be making their seventh Club World Cup appearance at Japan 2015, a record for the competition and two more than Egypt’s Al Ahly, who lie second on the list. Oceania’s representative best finish at the competition came last year at Morocco 2014 when they took third place back to New Zealand after narrowly missing out on a spot in the final.
The number of teams making their Club World Cup debuts at Japan 2015: River Plate are the only debutants at the Club World Cup this year, which is a stark contrast to the five new teams to the tournament who were on display last year at Morocco 2014. 54 teams have competed at the Club World Cup so far, with River Plate set to be the 55th.
The number of Club World Cup goals scored by the competition’s leading marksman, Argentinian forward Cesar Delgado, who racked up that tally with Monterrey in back-to-back appearances in 2012 and 2013. Lionel Messi, however, is currently on four goals and could surpass Delgado’s tally by the end of Japan 2015.
The average number of goals scored at Morocco 2014 (20 in eight matches). 3.5 is the highest average in tournament history, recorded two years ago at Morocco 2013.
The number of players who have won the Club World Cup with two different teams: Dida (with Corinthians in 2000 and AC Milan in 2007), Danilo (with Sao Paulo in 2005 and Corinthians in 2012), Thiago (with Barcelona in 2011 and Bayern Munich in 2013), Cristiano Ronaldo (with Manchester United in 2008 and Real Madrid in 2014) and Toni Kroos (with Bayern Munich in 2013 and Real Madrid in 2014).