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Bayern Munich target second ever FIFA Club World Cup title

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With a trip to Qater on the agenda for this week, Bayern Munich enter the Club World Cup with the target of beating the champions from all around the world.

FC Bayern Muenchen v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga Photo by M. Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Following Friday’s Bundesliga match against Hertha Berlin, Bayern Munich will take to the skies for the long flight to Doha, Qatar for the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup. The Bavarians will enter the Club World Cup for the second time ever and are targeting their second title.

Now, to answer your big question right now, this is the 2020 version of this competition, because it was delayed from its normal December position thanks to COVID.

As the winners of the UEFA Champions League, Bayern will enter the competition directly into the Semifinal round. The Bavarians will face the winners of the second round match between Al-Duhail (hosts) and Al Ahly (CAF).

The other Semifinal will feature Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras against the winner of the match between Tigres UANL (CONCACAF) and Ulsan Hyundai (AFC). If Tigres get past Ulsan, Palmeiras will have deal with one of the most prolific strikers in the Americas: André-Pierre Gignac.

Unfortunately, the tournament will not be as big as in years past as Auckland City (OFC) withdrew from the tournament due to the COVID pandemic and New Zealand’s quarantine restrictions. It’s a disappointing start for the tournament, but the show must go forward.

Bayern’s first Club World Cup win back in 2013 started the current run of seven straight wins by European teams. Can the Bavarians continue that trend?

Teams

AL Ahly

Home Stadium: Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt
How They Qualified: Winners of 2019/20 CAF Champions League
Previous Appearance: Sixth Appearance (2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013)
Player to Watch: Walid Soliman

Al-Ahly v Esperance de Tunis - CAF Champions League Final Photo by Ahmed Awaad/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Al-Duhail

Home Stadium: Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar
How They Qualified: Hosts - Winners of the 2019/20 Qatar Stars League
Previous Appearance: First Appearance
Player to Watch: Medhi Benatia

Auckland City

Home Stadium: Kiwitea Street in Auckland, New Zealand
How They Qualified: Nominated by OFC after cancellation of 2020 OFC Champions League Knockout Rounds due to COVID
Previous Appearance: Tenth Appearance (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Player to Watch: Myer Bevan

Auckland City withdrew from the competition on January 15, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and New Zealand’s quarantine rules.

Bayern Munich

Home Stadium: Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany
How They Qualified: Winners of 2019/20 UEFA Champions League
Previous Appearance: Second Appearance (2013)
Player to Watch: Kingsley Coman

Palmeiras

Home Stadium: Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil
How They Qualified: Winners of the 2020 CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores
Previous Appearance: First Appearance
Player to Watch: Luiz Adriano

Tigres UANL

Home Stadium: Estadio Universitario in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico
How They Qualified: Winners of 2020 CONCACAF Champions League
Previous Appearance: First Appearance
Player to Watch: André-Pierre Gignac

Mazatlan FC v Tigres UANL - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Sergio Mejia/Getty Images

Ulsan Hyundai

Home Stadium: Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea
How They Qualified: Winners of the 2020 AFC Champions League
Previous Appearance: Second Appearance (2012)
Player to Watch: Júnior Negrão

Stadiums

Ahmed bin Ali Stadium

The Ahmed bin Ali Stadium will host a second round match (UANL vs. Ulsan Hyundai), the fifth place match, and the semifinal match featuring Bayern Munich.

Location: Umm Al Afaei, Al Rayyan, Qatar
Opening: 2003 (renovated 2020)
Capacity: 40,740

Education City Stadium

The Education City Stadium will host a second round match (Al-Duhail vs. Al Ahly), the Semifinal match featuring Palmeiras, the third place match, and the final.

Location: Education City, Al Rayyan, Qatar
Opening: June 15, 2020
Capacity: 45,350

FBL-QAT-FIFA-CLUB-WORLD-CUP-TIGRES-FANS Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

Khalifa International Stadium

After Auckland City withdrew from the competition and the tournament restructured, the Khalifa International Stadium was no longer needed.

Location: Al-Waab Street, Baaya, Qatar
Opening: 1976 (renovated 2005, 2014-17)
Capacity: 45,416