Internacional Porto Alegre, FIFA Club World Cup
Internacional Porto Alegre celebrates their FIFA Club World Cup title after defeating Barcelona in the 2006 final Via:

Since its founding 23 years ago, 75 teams from around the world have taken part in the FIFA Club World Cup, 26 of which are from Latin American countries. And some of them have had successful stints in one of the most difficult competitions in the world. Here's a look at five of the most impactful participations of Latin American teams in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Tigres UANL 2020

After winning their first-ever continental trophy against LAFC in the CONCACAF Champions League final, Tigres secured a spot in the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, becoming the 8th different Mexican team to ever compete in the event.

A 2nd-round victory over AFC champions Ulsan Hyundai sent them to the semifinals where they faced Copa Libertadores winners Palmeiras. A very close game was decided by an André-Pierre Gignac penalty in the 54th minute, leading Tigres to snap a 2-game losing streak by Mexican teams against CONMEBOL clubs at the FIFA Club World Cup semifinals. Before Tigres, Pachuca had lost each of its two semifinal showdowns against CONMEBOL opponents (1-0 vs Gremio in 2017 and 2-0 vs LDU Quito in 2008).

That way, Tigres made history by becoming the 1st CONCACAF team to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final, even if a narrow 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich saw their dream run come to an end.

Tigres' French striker Gignac finished the tournament as the leading scorer (3) and won the Silver Ball as the 2nd best player of the tournament (Bayern's Robert Lewandowski was 1st).

André-Pierre Gignac scores the winning penalty to send Liga MX-team Tigres to tits first-ever FIFA Club World Cup final - VIA: FOXSoccer on X/Twitter

Estudiantes LP in 2009

Might not have been the "prettiest" display of soccer on the pitch, but Estudiantes La Plata came really close to making history during the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup by narrowly losing the final against, possibly, one of the best teams in the history of the sport.

After defeating South Korean team Pohng Steelers in the semifinals, Estudiantes faced Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in the final. The Spanish giants featured players such as Dani Alves, Carles Puyol, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The 2009 Copa Libertadores winners fielded a starting XI composed of ten players from Argentina and just one from Uruguay. Club captain and legend, Juan Sebastián "La Brujita" Verón, was the leader of the team and finished the tournament with the Silver Ball.

Barcelona outshot Estudiantes 16-3 and had 64% possession of the ball during the game. The Argentines, on their end, played a tough game, committing a total of 29 fouls that resulted in 7 yellow cards.

The contrast resulted in a tough and very close contest for both teams that was decided in extra time by a Lionel Messi goal, who scored the winner in the 110th minute to give Barcelona their first-ever Intercontinental/FIFA Club World Cup title and their 6th trophy of the year.

It remains as one of just five finals in the history of the competition to be decided in extra time. Only the 2000 edition was decided on penalties.

Internacional 2006

Inter de Porto Alegre shocked the world in 2006 with a surprising victory over a star-studded Barcelona squad during the FIFA Club World Cup final. For the 2nd tournament in a row, the CONMEBOL representative was able to defeat their UEFA counterparts in the final. The previous year, São Paulo had won the title at the expense of Liverpool.

To this date, only 3 CONMEBOL teams have been able to achieve such feat (the latest case being when Corinthians beat Chelsea 1-0 in 2012).

A Barcelona team comprised of Ronaldinho, Andrés Iniesta and Puyol conceded a goal in the 82nd minute to give Internacional the edge in the final minutes.

Saprissa 2005

In what was the first tournament to be held after the merger of the now extinct Intercontinental Cup and FIFA's Club World Championship, Saprissa represented CONCACAF in the 2005 edition. To this date, Saprissa's 2005 team remains as the only time a Costa Rican team to ever take part in the tournament.

They took home a 3rd-place finish thanks to a victory over 2005 AFC Champions Al-Ittihad. Christian Bolaños won the Bronze Ball that tournament and scored Saprissa's winning goal against Sydney FC in the quarterfinals.

Saprissa still remains as the only Costa Rican team to ever participate in the FIFA Club World Cup - VIA: Deportivo Saprissa's official Youtube channel

Necaxa 2000

Although Necaxa did not reach the final of the inaugural 2000 FIFA Club World Championship, its heroics are still remembered to this day thanks to the spectacle they provided on the pitch against much superior opposition.

Necaxa finished 2nd in their group that year, ahead of Treble winners Manchester United, and only behind Copa Libertadores champions Vasco da Gama. They drew Manchester United's legendary team composed of stars like Ryan Giggs, Andy Cole, Roy Keane and David Beckham, who was sent off at the end of the first half.

The most memorable game of Necaxa's dream run came against Spanish giants Real Madrid. With a star-studded team that included the names of Raúl, Fernando Morientes, Fernando Hierro and Roberto Carlos, the 'Merengues' were unable to hold an early lead and Necaxa took the game to penalties thanks to an Agustín Delgado goal in the 58th-minute.

During the penalty shootout, Delgado became the hero once again, scoring the decisive penalty to give Necaxa a 3rd-place finish. Real Madrid would eventually go on and win their 8th European Cup title that season.

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