The newest of all F.I.F.A. competitions is the Club World Championship, conceived along similar lines to the Confederations Cup, and held for the first time in Brazil in January 2000. For the second tournament from 29 July to 12 August 2001 in Spain, the number of teams has been increased from eight to twelve.
The organisation of a Club World Championship was a new venture for F.I.F.A, and it required a certain amount of adaptation on the logistical and technical side from the format with which F.I.F.A. is very experienced – running tournaments for national teams. The close contacts established with the clubs this time round should prove to be valuable to F.I.F.A. in the future.
The clubs are where professional footballers first get their chance, where their talents are directed and developed, at the early stage of careers that might go on to international level. So it was only to be expected that the staging of this first competition for the world’s best clubs and their international stars should be a highly professional operation. The standard of the games was very high and there was huge interest on the part of the media and the spectators. The quality of the football played was an effective silencer for the doubters and the critics.