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Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid will turn down the invitation to the new Club World Cup.

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Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has made the unexpected announcement that the esteemed Spanish team would decline the invitation to play in the recently redesigned Club World Cup. This decision might have a significant impact on worldwide club football. Ancelotti’s remarks, which were revealed by Relevo and made in an interview with Il Giornale, are made in the midst of mounting controversy and criticism over the competition.

The New Format for the Club World Cup

The 2025 Club World Cup, which is slated to take place from June 13 to July 15, will be substantially larger than its current structure. 32 clubs from throughout the world will compete in the event; 29 of the spots have already been assigned based on previous accomplishments in different continental tournaments. Real Madrid’s victories in the UEFA Champions League in 2022 and 2024 guaranteed them a berth.

By bringing together the top teams from several continents, this enlarged competition promises to be more competitive and profitable for the organizers. Twelve teams from UEFA, six from CONMEBOL, four from each of CONCACAF, CAF, and AFC, one from the Oceania OFC, and one from the host country are included in the allocation. Not everyone has embraced the new structure, despite its lofty goals.

Concerns and Criticisms

Numerous football stakeholders have voiced strong opposition to the planned Club World Cup. Due to the busy football schedule, FIFPro and the World Leagues Association have requested that the tournament be postponed, citing potential financial risks to local leagues and potential detrimental effects on player welfare.

These worries are reflected in Carlo Ancelotti’s comments. “FIFA is not going to care about that,” he stated honestly. “Teams and football players won’t be taking part in that competition. FIFA wants to pay us the value of a single Madrid match, which is 20 million euros, for the entire tournament—a negative amount. A number of teams will decline the invitation, just like us.”

Real Madrid’s Attitude

Real Madrid made a noteworthy move when they declined the invitation to the Club World Cup, especially considering their past performances in the league. The club’s domination on the international scene is evident from their five tournament victories during the previous nine years. The tournament’s schedule and the financial conditions, however, seem to be the main grounds of contention.

According to Ancelotti’s remarks, the FIFA financial incentives are not as good as the money made by individual matches for elite teams like Real Madrid. Furthermore, because the event is scheduled during the midst of many leagues’ off-season, it may interfere with pre-season planning and have an effect on players’ rest and recuperation times.

Wider Consequences

In terms of opponents, Real Madrid is not by itself. Leaders of La Liga and the Premier League have also voiced their displeasure and threatened to boycott the event. In December 2023, Manchester City interrupted their Premier League season to compete in the most recent Club World Cup, which they eventually won by defeating Fluminense in the final. For many teams, this interruption to domestic leagues is a serious problem.

Top clubs in Europe and other countries may opt to follow Real Madrid’s example, which may seriously jeopardize FIFA’s plans for a massive, international club tournament. The governing body has consistently dismissed criticism, highlighting the tournament’s potential benefits for the expansion of club football worldwide. Major leagues’ and clubs’ opposition, however, underscores how difficult it is to strike a balance between business interests, player welfare, and the credibility of home tournaments.

Deep rifts exist throughout the football community about the new Club World Cup, as evidenced by Carlo Ancelotti’s statement that Real Madrid will turn down the invitation. FIFA hopes to establish an event of global significance, but there may be a big obstacle in the form of resistance from some of the best clubs and leagues in the world. It remains to be seen how FIFA will respond to these concerns as the 2025 event draws near and if the best teams will participate in the Club World Cup as scheduled.

Real Madrid’s position, reinforced by Ancelotti’s direct remarks, establishes a crucial standard that may affect the choices made by other top teams and possibly change the character of international club football leagues.

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