According to Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, Haaland, the talented forward, is expected to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup but is unlikely to be available for the upcoming match against Crystal Palace. This update coincides with FIFA’s announcement to expand the Club World Cup to include 32 teams from the year 2025 onwards. The tournament, scheduled to take place in the United States from June 15 to July 13, will now encompass 32 teams instead of the current seven, and it will be held once every four years. Arsene Wenger, the ex-manager of Arsenal and current head of global football development at FIFA, has shown his endorsement for the proposed expansion plans. He is of the opinion that the enhanced resources and opportunities offered by the Club World Cup will be advantageous for clubs worldwide and contribute to the global nature of football.
Nevertheless, there are reservations regarding the well-being of players as a result of the condensed timeframe between the conclusion of the tournament and the commencement of the domestic season. One of the individuals expressing concern about the overhaul is Bernardo Silva, a player from Manchester City. Contrarily, Wenger emphasizes that FIFA has given due importance to the well-being of players and guarantees that they will be given the necessary time for rest during and after the tournament. Wenger highlights the remarkable progress made in player welfare during the last twenty years, encompassing advancements in injury prevention, recovery methods, nutrition, and medical technology. Additionally, he attributes the safeguarding of players to the implementation of VAR, which has played a role in reducing perilous tackles. Wenger firmly believes that these advancements have played a crucial role in enabling players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema to maintain their exceptional performance even as they reach their mid-30s. On Friday, December 22, the highly anticipated final and third-place play-off of this year’s Club World Cup will be showcased live on TNT Sports and discovery+. In the grand finale, Manchester City will go head-to-head against the formidable Brazilian team Fluminense, following their impressive victory over Al Ahly with a 2-0 score in the previous stage.