Club World Cup 2018: Dates, fixtures, teams & TV guide

Real Madrid will be looking to defend their title as world champions when they compete in the Club World Cup later this month

The Club World Cup has made its return, taking place in the United Arab Emirates.

Real Madrid will meet Al Ain in the finals, with River Plate registering a 4-0 victory over Kashima Antlers to secure a third-placed finish.

With the competition nearing its finale, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know.



The Club World Cup, as the name suggests, crowns the world champions of club football.

It is not as illustrious an event as the international World Cup in Europe due to the dominance of the UEFA Champions League, but is a more prized possession on other continents such as South America.

It has been held in a number of different formats over the years.

From 1960 to 2004, UEFA and CONMEBOL played the Intercontinental Cup, which saw the winners of the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores meet in a one-off final.

FIFA introduced the Club World Cup in 2000, but various internal problems meant that the second edition was not played until 2005.

That year, the decision was made to merge the Club World Cup with the Intercontinental Cup and it is now the sole decider of the club world champion.



Real Madrid (UEFA) are twice reigning world champions, having won their third straight Champions League title earlier in May when they defeated Liverpool in the final in Kiev.

The Spanish side defeated Gremio 1-0 in last year’s Club World Cup final thanks to an early second-half goal from Cristiano Ronaldo, and are now in their third straight final.

Al-Ain are participating this year as hosts and winners of the 2017-18 UAE Pro-League (AFC), while Team Wellington (OFC) , Guadalajara (CONCACAF), and Esperance de Tunis (CAF) have been dumped out .

Argentina’s River Plate (CONMEBOL) were the last to book their place in the Club World Cup following their (much postponed) victory over fierce rivals Boca Juniors in the 2018 Copa Libertadores final that took place at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid and will face Kashima Antlers (AFC) in the battle for third place.



There will be two venues throughout the tournament: Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.

Zayed Sports City Stadium is the largest in the UAE, with more than 43,000 seats, and was the host of the Club World Cup final in 2009, 2010 and most recently in 2017.

An open-air stadium, its arches carve an iconic backdrop in the city.

The Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, opened in 2014, has a capacity of 22,717 and is a multi-purpose stadium which acts as the home for UAE Pro-League club Al Ain FC.

The stadium sits approximately 150 km east of Abu Dhabi, close to the borders of Oman, and is the first stadium to feature a parasol roof designed specifically to keep supporters and players cool in soaring temperatures.



This year’s tournament kicked off on December 12, with the opening tie of the tournament to be a play-off game between host club Al Ain and Team Wellington.

The quarter-final stage of the competition was played on December 15, with the two semi-final games taking place on December 18 and 19 in Al Ain.

The final of the competition, also to be played in Abu Dhabi, will be on December 22 along with the third-place match.

No. Date Match Time (local / GMT) Location
1 Dec 12 Al Ain 3-3 Team Wellington (4-3 pens) 19:30/ 15:30 Al Ain
No. Date Match Time (local / GMT) Location
2 Dec 15 Kashima Antlers 3-2 Guadalajara 17:00 / 13:00 Al Ain
3 Dec 15 Esperance de Tunis 0-3 Al Ain 20:30 / 16:30 Al Ain
No. Date Match Time (local / GMT) Location
4 Dec 18 Esperance de Tunis 1-1 Guadalajara (6-5 pens.) 17:30 / 13:30 Al Ain
No. Date Match Time (local / GMT) Location
5 Dec 18 River Plate 2-2 Al-Ain (4-5 pens.) 20:30 / 16:30 Al Ain
6 Dec 19 Kashima Antlers 1-3 Real Madrid 20:30 / 16:30 Al Ain
No. Date Match Time (local / GMT) Location
7 Dec 22 River Plate 4-0 Kashima Antlers 17:30 / 13:30 Abu Dhabi
No. Date Match Time (local / GMT) Location
8 Dec 22 Al Ain 1-4 Real Madrid 20:30 / 16:30 Abu Dhabi


In the UK, the Club World Cup will be broadcasted and live streamed on the BBC and ITV.

UK TV channel Online stream
BBC, ITV BBC Live

In the US, the Club World Cup can be watched  live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).

New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.

US TV channel Online stream
Fox Sports 1 fubo TV (free 7-day trial)

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