FIFA’s Club World Cup is a strange one.
Winning it essentially sees you crowned the best club side in world football, but no one really gives a toss about it.
Did you even realise it was already underway?
But that’s not to say it’s a waste of time, or that the European side always win. So let’s remember the cupsets, when things didn’t quite go to plan.
Man United 1-3 Vasco da Gama (2000)
United’s decision to withdraw from the FA Cup in 2000 turned into an unmitigated disaster.
Vasco, insipired by a front pairing of Romario and Edmundo, made United look punch drunk in Brazil.
After all the controversy surrounding United’s FA Cup boycott Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were eliminated without getting out of the group stages.
Real Madrid 1-1 Necaxa (2000)
Real Madrid booked their place at the Club World Cup after winning the now defucnt Intercontinental Cup in 1998.
But they only finished fourth after losing on penalties to CONCACAF Champions’ Cup winners Necaxa.
Steve McManaman continued the proud tradition of missing from 12-yards out before Javier Dorado’s shank sealed a famous win for the Mexicans.
Necaxa’s players split a $1million bonus for beating their esteemed opponents which could have bought them roughly 1/59th of Zinedine Zidane.
Sao Paulo 1-0 Liverpool (2005)
Liverpool only had to play one game to reach the final, beating Costa Ricans Saprissa 3-0 through goals from Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard.
But in the final nothing went to plan as Rafael Benitez’s side saw three goals ruled out and anything else blocked by goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni.
Sao Paulo nicked the game 1-0 through a Mineiro strike in the 27th minute.
We would say it’s a high point of his career, but the one start he made for Chelsea just about shaded it.
Internacional 1-0 Barcelona (2006)
Barcelona came into the 2006 Club World Cup off the back of a treble winning season under Frank Rijkaard.
But despite fielding Ronaldinho and Deco, who was crowned the tournament’s best player, Barca were beaten by an Internacional side featuring a young Alexandre Pato.
One-time Brazil international Adriano scored the winner past Victor Valdes in the 61st minute to stun Rijkaard’s men.
Deco was still forced to pose with his award after the game. Look at the sadness in his eyes.
Corinthians 1-0 Chelsea (2012)
Corinthians brought 30,000 fans with them to Japan so it was little surprise they showed more determination to win than Chelsea.
Paulinho, soon to be heralded a Spurs ‘flop’, ran the midfield but it was former Bayern Munich striker Paolo Guerrero who won the game with a header.
Tempers boiled over in the dying minutes as Gary Cahill was sent off and Rafa Benitez’s chances of winning a first trophy with Chelsea evaporated.
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