2023 FIFA Club World Cup
Via FIFA/FIFA.com/Yasser Bakhsh

Friday will mark the 12th time that teams from Europe and South America face each other in a FIFA Club World Cup final. Out of the previous 11, South American teams have only achieved three victories.

Copa Libertadores champions Fluminense advanced to the final thanks to a 2-0 win against African champions Al Ahly on Tuesday, bringing South America back to the final after missing it the past edition.

'Flu' is the 9th different Brazilian team to reach the final, but only three have won the title. Corinthians won the inaugural 2000 edition against fellow Brazilian side Vasco da Gama, while São Paulo and Inter de Porto Alegre won it in consecutive years, in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

The last South American team to be crowned as the FIFA Club World Cup champions is Corinthians, which beat UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea in the 2012 edition. It's been more than a decade since a CONMEBOL team has earned the privilege to be called world champs, while European teams have won each of the last 10 editions.

Things used to be way different back in the day when the Intercontinental Cup was around, before FIFA merged the competition creating their Club World Cup in 2000.

In the 43 editions of the old Intercontinental Cup, a competition that paired the continental champions of South America and Europe, the head-to-head was pretty much balanced, with 21 CONMEBOL wins to 22 European crowns.

Ever since the merge of both competitions, Latin American teams have won just four titles.

If Fluminense wants to lift the FIFA Club World Cup trophy, they will have to beat one of the best teams in modern history. Manchester City, winners of the European treble last season (PL, FA Cup, UCL), will try to make it a total of five titles in 2023 and complete the set against the Copa Libertadores champions.

Pep Guardiola's team come into the game as the clear favorites, having been one of the top sides in the world for quite a long time already. Although they start as favorites, history shows that South American teams have a positive record when it comes to facing English teams in these sort of matches. If we count games from the Intercontinental Cup, this will be the 10th time English and Brazilian teams face each other in a "final," with Brazilians coming on top with 6 wins, although just two of them under the current FIFA Club World Cup format (since 2000).

England vs Brazil finals - Intercontinental/FIFA Club World Cup

1968 Estudiantes LP 2-1 Man United

1980 Nacional (URU) 1-0 Nottingham Forest

1981 Flamengo 3-0 Liverpool

1984 Independiente 1-0 Liverpool

1999 Man United 1-0 Palmeiras

2005 Sao Paulo 1-0 Liverpool

2012 Corinthians 1-0 Chelsea

2019 Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo

2021 Chelsea 2-1 Palmeiras

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.