European champions Manchester City could face Karim Benzema’s Al Ittihad in the FIFA Club World Cup final in December in Saudi Arabia after the draw on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s side will face Club Leon or Urawa Red Diamonds in the FIFA Club World Cup semifinals, while in the other semifinal, the Copa Libertadores winners, yet to be decided, will face Al Ittihad, Auckland City or Al Ahly.
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The host nation’s champions, Saudi Pro League winners Al Ittihad, will kick off the competition against Auckland City.
Al Ittihad will hope to repeat Al Hilal’s run last year, when they became the first Saudi club to reach the final. They lost the final to Real Madrid, the competition’s most successful club with five titles.
As yet there are no previous holders in this year’s edition. Internacional of Brazil are the only previous winners who could still take the final available place in the competition.
CONMEBOL’s participant will only be known after the Copa Libertadores final on Nov. 4 with Argentina’s Boca Juniors and Brazil’s Palmeiras, Fluminense and Internacional in contention.
The Club World Cup will be played from Dec. 12-22 and held in Saudi Arabia for the first time as announced in February. The city of Jeddah will host the competition in two venues.
The 2023 edition will be the last of the format — an annual competition with seven teams — before it expands to a 32-team event to be held in 2025 in the United States.
Club World Cup draw:
Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia) vs. Auckland City (New Zealand)
Al Ahly(Egypt) vs. Al Ittihad/Auckland City
Club Leon (Mexico) vs. Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan)
CONMEBOL Representative vs. Al Ahly/Al-Ittihad/Auckland City
Leon/Urawa Red Diamonds vs. Manchester City (England)