Real Madrid insist they will take part in FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup – after Ancelotti interview | World News

Real Madrid say they will play in next year’s expanded Club World Cup, after their manager Carlo Ancelotti reportedly told Italian media that the Spanish side would “refuse” the invitation.

The five-time Champions League-winning coach claimed in a post on social media that his comments were “not interpreted in the way I intended”.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale, the 65-year-old appeared to suggest that the Spanish side would not participate in the tournament.

It was reported that the Italian coach said: “FIFA can forget it, footballers, and clubs will not participate in that tournament.

“A single Real Madrid match is worth 20 million [euros] and FIFA wants to give us that amount for the entire cup. Negative. Like us, other clubs will refuse the invitation.”

However, the former Chelsea, AC Milan, and Juventus manager posted on Instagram on Monday to deny the reports.

“[There is] nothing further from my interest than turning down the possibility of competing in a tournament that I consider can be a great opportunity to continue fighting for great titles with Real Madrid,” he said in the post, translated from Italian.

Real Madrid’s Rodrygo celebrates with a balloon trophy and the fans after winning the Champions League final. Pic: Reuters

Real Madrid also said in a statement: “Real Madrid CF announces that at no time has its participation in the new Club World Cup to be organised by FIFA in the upcoming 2024/2025 season been questioned.

“Therefore, our club will compete, as planned, in this official competition that we face with pride and with the utmost enthusiasm to make our millions of fans around the world dream again with a new title.”

In December last year, FIFA detailed controversial plans for a 32-club edition of the tournament – which is due to be held in the US next year from 15 June to 13 July.

The expanded tournament will feature 12 representatives from Europe, including Real Madrid – as they won the Champions League in 2021/22 and 2023/24.

Under FIFA’s plan, the 32-team competition will be held every four years rather than annually

But with the tournament set to run into mid-July, it means Premier League clubs who reach the final will have just four weeks between the end of the Club World Cup and their first league game of the season.

It comes after a letter from the global players’ union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association threatened FIFA president Gianni Infantino with a mass revolt and legal action against the new tournament format.

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Sent in May, the leagues and union claimed FIFA was being “inherently abusive” in adding games, leaving players with little space for rest and recovery.

FIFA has refused to back down on plans to expand the tournament and says it is “fully within its rights” to do so.

Football’s governing body did however offer to hold peace talks with FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association a day after the letter was sent, while also noting that UEFA had also expanded the Champions League to add two more games.

While the European Club Association support the expansion, Real Madrid has not been a part of the organisation since 2021, when they joined 12 clubs in attempting to form the breakaway European Super League.


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