Around 2,000 fans of the Chivas, Guadalajara’s most popular soccer club, have traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to see their team participate for the first time in the prestigious Fifa Club World Cup.
It is estimated the fans will spend upward of $US3,000 each during their travels, including air fares, accommodation and game tickets.
Organized by Fifa, the annual Club World Cup features one host team and the regional champions from the soccer governing body’s six confederations
The Chivas qualified for the seven-team tournament by beating Toronto FC in the Concacaf Champions League final earlier this year. The other teams are from Spain, Argentina, Japan, New Zealand, Tunisia and the UAE.
Chivas begin their quest for the title on Saturday, December 15, 7 a.m. against the Kashima Antlers of Japan. Should they win this game, they would then face the mighty Real Madrid, the competition’s favorites and winners of the 2018 European Champions League, in the semifinal on Wednesday, December 19, 10:30 a.m. On the other side of the draw, River Plate of Argentina is also expected to make it through to the final, scheduled Saturday, December 22, 10:30 a.m. in Abu Dhabi.
Although not the major target of the top European teams, the Club World Cup is taken much more seriously on the American continent. The opportunity to face – and defeat – the best club team in Europe in an important competition is a huge motivation for players and fans in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.