After six thrilling encounters over the past nine days, the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021™ comes to a close on Saturday February 12, with Chelsea and Palmeiras contesting the final shortly after Al Hilal-Al Ahly decides third place.
Chelsea will play Brazil’s Palmeiras on Saturday in Abu Dhabi in the FIFA Club World Cup Final. The expectations are high, as Palmeiras are also very hopeful ahead of this match. Both teams are poised to win, particularly Chelsea playing Palmeiras for the first time, who are South America’s three times champions.
Palmeiras appears to have chalked up an incredible successes since the team was ‘born’ in 1914 by some Italian migrants. At national level, the Brazilian team has won a record 10 league titles and four Brazilian Cups to proceed with 25 Sao Paulo regional league titles.
On the continental stage, they have been crowned South American champions three times, winning their maiden Libertadores title in 1999 against Deportivo Cali of Colombia and getting a charge out of consecutive wins against Brazilian rivals Santos in 2020 and Flamengo in 2021.
Palmeiras are making their second Club World Cup appearance after a fourth-place finish on their debut in Qatar last year. They were beaten 1-0 by Mexican side Tigres in the semi-finals prior to losing on penalties to Al Ahly of Egypt in the third-place match.
As South American champions, they additionally showed up in the fore-runner to this competition, the Intercontinental Cup, in 1999 but lost 1-0 to Manchester United in Tokyo, Japan.
While they still can’t seem to imitate their city rivals Corinthians, Sao Paulo and Santos by winning the Intercontinental Cup or Club World Cup, Palmeiras also claim to be former club football title holders after their triumph in the Copa Rio in 1951.
The invitational competition featured eight teams including the champions of France, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Austria and Uruguay with Palmeiras emerging triumphant subsequent to beating Italian giants Juventus in the final at the Maracana.
While the club have made request for FIFA to formally recognize them as club title holders of 1951, the administering body’s position on the competition stays hazy in spite of an official FIFA Instagram post in 2016 to mark the 65th commemoration of Palmeiras becoming ‘the sport’s first intercontinental world club champions’.
Palmeiras and Chelsea are playing in pursuit of their first title. A new name is set to be engraved on the trophy, with Chelsea having lost the final in their only previous appearance in 2012 and Palmeiras finishing fourth on their debut in Qatar 2020. Meanwhile, Al Hilal could add their name as the 39th different club to collect a FIFA Club World Cup medal should they beat Al Ahly.
Palmeiras are the 26th different team to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final. Ten different clubs have previously won it, with Real Madrid leading the trophy count with four, followed by Barcelona (3), Bayern Munich and Corinthians (2).
Brazilian clubs will have appeared in the final a record nine times when Palmeiras take to the field on Saturday. Spain has the second-most appearances with eight, while Chelsea’s appearance in UAE 2021 final will be the fifth for English clubs.
Match Time : 4.30PM at the Multi-purpose Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates