European champions Real Madrid were crowned as the best football club in the world after a 2-0 win over San Lorenzo in the final of the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup held in Morocco. The competition pits champions of each continent together as they battle for the title of world champions.
The competition featured seven teams with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) having two representatives as ES Setif competed as African champions while Moghreb Tetouan entered as champions of the host nation, Morocco. Both teams exited the competition after failing to win record wins as Moghreb Tetouan finished seventh on the competition rankings while ES Setif could only manage a fifth place finish. AFC’s Western Sydney Wanderers finished sixth while CONCACAF champions Cruz Azul finished fourth. The third placed finish went to OFC’s Auckland City while CONMEBOL’s San Lorenzo finished second after losing to eventual champions Real Madrid in the final.
Abdelmalek Ziaya was the only African scorer, in regulation time, at the competition after he bagged ES Setif’s second goal in the match for fifth place against Western Sydney Wanderers. Real Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale both shared the Golden Boot award for being the highest goal-scorers alongside Cruz Azul’s Gerardo Torrado who also finished the tournament with two goals. Western Sydney Wanderer’s holds the dubious record for being the only player to score an own goal- an incident in which Algeria’s ES Setif were the beneficiaries.
There were no personal awards for the African contingent as Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos picked up the Golden Ball award while Cristiano Ronaldo, current holder of the Ballon D’or award, picked up the Silver Ball and Auckland City’s Ivan Vicelich bagged the Bronze Ball award.
Morocco has been widely credited for successfully hosting the competition which saw matches played at both the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat and the Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech. Matches saw an impressive turn-out as the game with the lowest attendance saw about 18,000 people present. The final at the Stade de Marrakech between San Lorenzo and Real Madrid also saw record attendances at the 2014 Club World Cup with 38,345 present. Home team, Moghreb Tetouan enjoyed great support as their only game at the competition against Auckland City saw 35,247 people present at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
A total of six African countries were represented at the competition with Morocco, Senegal, Gabon, Central African Republic, Algeria and Nigeria all having players featured.
A total of $16.5 million was shared in prize money as the champions Real Madrid bagged $5 million, while runners up San Lorenzo received $4 million. The African representatives bagged $2 million in total with ES Setif receiving $1.5 million for a fifth place finish while Mohgreb Tetouan received $0.5 million for their seventh place finish.
The 2014 FIFA Club World Cup enjoyed impressive corporate backing as Toyota featured as presenting partner while Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Sony, and Visa- all FIFA Partners- also retained full sponsorship rights. National Supporters in Morocco also included ONCF and Maroc Telecom.