Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan are amongst the clubs who have recently won the FIFA Club World Cup, although the competition has been running since 1960, with Real Madrid the first team to win it, under its original name the Intercontinental Cup.

Liverpool lost in the final to Sao Paulo in 2005, meaning United, who lifted the trophy against Brazil’s Palmeiras in 1999, are the only British side to win the competition.

Sir Alex Ferguson is keen for us to win it again, wanting to add to his marvellous winning record with the club.

“We’re delighted to be going to Japan,” said Ferguson. “We are going there because we have won the Champions League, so I hope we’ll be playing in it for the next five years. We’re the only British team to have won it – and I consider that to be one of the club’s greatest achievements. There’s now a different focus on the tournament and it’s good that teams from Africa, Asia and elsewhere have a chance to take part. You can’t stop progress and this is a progressive step. The quality of the game has improved tremendously all over the world. It means an extra game to what the club has had in the past, but I think that’s important.”