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Club World Cup 2025: Real Madrid and Ancelotti say they will play

The interview and statements came on the Italian's 65th birthday

Fifa Club World Cup 2025 football trophy

Real Madrid have said they will play in the Fifa World Club 2025 “with pride” despite manager Carlo Ancelotti being quoted as telling the world governing body it could “forget” any chance of the Uefa Champions League winners taking part.

Ancelotti reportedly said there was “no way” Madrid would participate in the tournament, which has been controversially scheduled by the governing body for June and July 2025 in the US.

“At no time has [our] participation in the new Club World Cup… been questioned,” Madrid said in a statement issued hours after Il Giornale published an interview with the 65-year-old.

“Therefore, our club will compete, as planned, in this official competition that we face with pride and with the utmost enthusiasm to make our millions of fans around the world dream again with a new title.”

In a separate statement, Ancelotti said the remarks were “not interpreted in the way I intended”, adding: “Nothing could be further from my interest than to reject the possibility of playing in a tournament that I consider could be a great opportunity to continue fighting for big titles with Real Madrid.”

Club World Cup: Ancelotti quotes ‘misinterpreted’

The competition usually takes place in December and January but the proposed expanded version will take place during the summer and feature 32 clubs from across the world, leading to concerns over the demands of scheduling on players.

“Fifa can forget about it,” the Italian outlet quoted Ancelotti as saying. “The club and the footballers won’t participate in that tournament.

“One Real Madrid game is worth 20 million and Fifa wants to give us that sum for the entire tournament. No way. Like us, other clubs will refuse the invitation.”

Club World Cup 2025: Union concerns

Last month, the FIFPro and World Leagues Association unions announced potential legal action if the dates were not changed.

In a letter reported by BBC Sport, Fifa are said to have rejected the unions’ claims that they had not been consulted and disagreed with their appraisal of the situation.

The seven teams involved in the 2023 edition comprised the champions of the six continental confederations and the titlists of host nation Saudi Arabia, Al-Ittihad.

Premier League champions Manchester City won the final on December 22, beating Brazilian opponents Fluminense.

Picture of Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.