The seven contenders for the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup – Saudi Arabia have named their 23-man squads for the tournament.
The tournament is set to kick off on December 12 with Al-Ittihad facing Auckland City, leading up to the final on December 22.
Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland will represent UEFA Champions League holders Manchester City at the tournament. Kevin De Bruyne, not featured since the opening day of the Premier League season in August due to injury, has also been included in the squad.
Fluminense right-back Samuel Xavier will join other key players such as Real Madrid legend Marcelo, 22-year-old Seleção midfielder Andre, Colombia winger Jhon Arias and Argentina’s German Cano.
Al Ittihad will send arguably the strongest-ever squad outside Europe or South America to a FIFA Club World Cup, with Marcelo Gallardo picking the likes of Luiz Felipe, N’Golo Kante, Fabinho, Jota and Karim Benzema.
Fellow Arab hopefuls Al Ahly included several players who have dazzled in the global finals, among them Mohamed Elshenawy, Hussein Elshahat, Kahraba and Afsha.
Lucas Romero and Angel Mena recovered from knocks to make the Club León squad, and Atsuki Ito won his race against time to be fit for Urawa Red Diamonds. The Asian champions will nevertheless be without Hiroki Sakai. Auckland City, for their part, have no injury concerns.
2023 FIFA Club World Cup – Saudi Arabia participants
AFC Champions League 2022 winners: Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan
CAF Champions League 2022/2023 winners: Al Ahly FC, Egypt
Concacaf Champions League 2023 winners: Club León, Mexico
CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023 winners: Fluminense, Brazil
OFC Champions League 2023 winners: Auckland City FC, New Zealand
UEFA Champions League 2022/2023 winners: Manchester City FC, England
Host (latest winner of organising association’s league): Al Ittihad FC, Saudi Arabia