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What is the FIFA Club World Cup?

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Kaz Photography / Contributor

The FIFA Club World Cup will kick off next month in Abu Dhabi, but what exactly is the competition and how long has it been around?

FIFA created the Club World Cup back in 2000 to celebrate regional club winners from across the globe.

Traditional there are seven clubs ranging from all six major confederations around the world, including CONCACAF (North/Central America & Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), UEFA (Europe), CAF (Africa), AFC (Asia) and OFC (Oceania).

The first-ever Club World Cup took place in Brazil, where Brazilian champions Corinthians took home the trophy that year.

Over the first two decades of the tournament, winners have only come from Europe and South America, with the four other regions seeking their first trophy.

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Etsuo Hara / Contributor

Real Madrid hold the record for most titles in the competition with four, including a run of three consecutive trophies from 2016 through 2018.

In fact, Madrid has never lost a Club World Cup match, boasting 10 wins and two draws in their four previous competitions.

The competition is single-elimination with three teams receiving first-round byes and two more teams receiving byes for the first two rounds of play.

This year, Chelsea and Palmeiras will be automatically through to the semifinals. Meanwhile, Al Jazira and AS Pirae will meet in the lone first round matchup to decide who will take on Al Hilal in the second round.

Who's Competing This Year?

Chelsea (England) - UEFA Champions League

Palmeiras (Brazil) - Copa Libertadores

Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) - AFC Champions League

Al Ahly (Egypt) - CAF Champions League

Monterrey (Mexico) - CONCACAF Champions League

AS Pirae (Tahiti) - OFC nomination

Al Jazira (UAE) - 2020/21 UAE Pro League winner

Previous Winners

2000 - Corinthians (Brazil)

2001-2004 - Tournament cancelled

2005 - Sao Paolo (Brazil)

2006 - Internacional (Brazil)

2007 - AC Milan (Italy)

2008 - Man United (England)

2009 - Barcelona (Spain)

2010 - Inter Milan (Italy)

2011 - Barcelona (Spain)

2012 - Corinthians (Brazil)

2013 - Bayern Munich (Germany)

2014 - Real Madrid (Spain)

2015 - Barcelona (Spain)

2016 - Real Madrid (Spain)

2017 - Real Madrid (Spain)

2018 - Real Madrid (Spain)

2019 - Liverpool (England)

2020 - Bayern Munich (Germany)

2021 - TBD

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