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The Club World Cup Has Lost Its Purpose
The FIFA Club World Cup is no longer a suitable measure to determine the best club team in the world.
Due to the huge investment in European football in the last decade, European clubs (UEFA) have a huge financial advantage and can buy the best players, which gives them a huge advantage over other confederations. Furthermore, the format of the tournament is designed to favor UEFA and South America (Conmeball), which is unfair to other teams.
The problem is that the competition has not been able to keep up with the changes in the game and therefore has lost its relevance and purpose.
PURPOSE OF THE FIGHT
The tournament was launched in 2000 (when it absorbed its predecessor the Intercontinental Cup) and was organized as an annual competition to showcase the best local talent from various confederations. The idea was that the winners of each continental competition would compete against each other and the winner would be crowned as the best club team in the world. That was the theory, but in practice it turned out differently.
Previously, the best non-European players continued their careers in their own countries and were unknown to foreign audiences. The Club World Cup gave these players the opportunity to showcase their skills on the world stage and at the time there was parity between European and South American clubs.
Conmebol teams won the trophy in the first three years of the tournament, but after that European teams dominated and the balance of power shifted to Europe.
DAVID vs. GOLIATH
The start of Europe’s dominance at the turn of the century coincided with massive investment in UEFA club-level football. The result is that today there is a huge income gap between European clubs and other confederations.
The winner of the European Champions League earns much more money than any other continental competition combined. Real Madrid earned $70.1 million to win the UEFA Champions League last season. Unlike San Lorenzo $6.1 million to win the Copa Libertadores (Conmebol), ES Sethi $1.8 million to win the African Champions League (CAF) and in Asia Western Sydney Wanderers to beat Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia. two games (YAHOO) made about the same amount. SPORT – Why is the Club World Cup still struggling for relevance?; by Peter Staunton, December 12, 2014).
With such money in hand, the best talent money can buy is in Europe’s top leagues, lured by the lucrative contracts these leagues offer. This means that Europe has its own talent and everything that the rest of the world has.
The biggest losers in the exodus of soccer talent to Europe are Brazil and Argentina, the leading exporters of players, so Europe’s gain is South America’s loss.
As such, every other side in the Club World Cup is at a disadvantage compared to the Champions League holders. The competition has turned from a rivalry to a David vs. Goliath battle between European clubs, represented by a world eleven, mostly made up of the best international players and minnows, who make up what’s left of their best players. . the talent was removed by the big UEFA clubs.
The current champion, Real Madrid, has a number of the most expensive and best international players from Spain (Casillas and Sergio Ramos), France (Benzema and Varane), Portugal (Ronaldo and Pepe), Germany (Kroos), Brazil. (Marcelo), Colombia (Rodriques), Wales (Bale) and Mexico (Chicharito). This gathering of players is hardly representative of the local game in Spain. For three football players, namely Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriquez, the club paid 367.8 million dollars. Only twelve clubs in the world have a squad of players whose market value exceeds the combined value of these three clubs.
Contrast that with Auckland City FC, one of their opponents at this year’s Club World Cup, a team of ordinary fans with full-time jobs outside of football.
A look at some of the previous champions reveals a heavy foreign component to their teams. In 2010, when Inter Milan (Italy) won the cup, only 5 players were Italian in their 23-man squad, and the rest were mainly from South America. Even the TV commentators couldn’t keep up with the change, as they still referred to the Inter team as “Italians”.
In 2011, “Barcelona” won the Cup, and 10 of their 23 members were from abroad.
Another big problem with the tournament is that UEFA and South American teams have byes to the semi-finals and even start after some sides have been eliminated. This is done on purpose so that only the biggest clubs face each other in the final. Only teams from these two continents have won so far and only one team from outside has made it to the finals, last year’s surprise finalists TP Mazembe, a Congolese side.
Given the financial advantage that UEFA enjoys and the strange format that exists now, the Club World Cup can hardly be called the fairest competition, and the winner cannot legitimately be called “the best in the world” any more than the winners of the previous tournament. Intercontinental Cup, which was limited to UEFA and CONMEBOL. The race has lost its relevance and is hardly bragging. A few years ago I won a dance competition, but the other contestants couldn’t dance, so my victory was something to brag about?
Some equality must be restored to the competition. Brazil and Argentina have started raising salaries in their local leagues to encourage their players to stay at home. This is a start, but in addition, FIFA should limit the number of foreign players per team to, say, two, and change the format so that all competing teams play the same number of qualifiers. Without this, it is pointless to continue the competition in its current form.
Victor A. Dixon
December 23, 2014
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