Pep Guardiola couldn’t have done much better in his first year or so of management, winning the league, the European Cup and the Copa del Rey, amongst others.
However, it was winning the FIFA Club World Cup Championship last week that reduced him to tears. When Manchester United travelled half way across the world to participate in this competition last year, it was deemed to be a waste of time. In the last three years, Barcelona, Manchester United and AC Milan have all seemed to think it’s worthwhile though, which surely says something about it? We’re looking at three of the biggest clubs in world football taking time out of their domestic season to compete in it. They haven’t just fielded any old team though, which is proven by the players collecting the golden boot over the past three years: Messi, Rooney and Kaka.
But this is the competition, re-branded, which our government and FA all but made us desert the FA Cup for. Yet the FA would not allow us to wear the celebratory badge on our shirt when we became the only English club to win the competition.
Now, I’m not suggesting that the FIFA Club World Cup is high on our list of priorities, but the fact that you have to be the Champions of Europe to even compete is all the reason you need to want to play in it.
Plus, being officially the Champions of the World isn’t such a bad title, something we can claim twice after our Intercontinental Cup win in 1999. “Once more than England, World Champions twice!“