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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Liverpool none the wiser over Club World Cup opponents after draw

Reuters , Monday 16 Sep 2019
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Newcastle United - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - September 14, 2019 General view of a Liverpool flag outside the stadium before the match (Reuters)

European champions Liverpool were left waiting to see who they will face in the Club World Cup semi-finals after Monday’s draw pitted them against four potential opponents.

Despite being six-times European champions, Liverpool have never won the world club title in any of its many guises with their most recent attempt ending in a shock 1-0 defeat by Sao Paulo in the 2005 final in Japan.

On Monday, they were drawn to face the winners of the quarter-final between CONCACAF champions Monterrey of Mexico and either Al Sadd, champions of hosts Qatar, or Hienghene Sport, Oceania title holders, who meet in a preliminary round match.

However, if Al Sadd win the Asian Champions League, which is at the quarter-final stage, they would be replaced in the preliminary round by the Asian runners-up, and move straight into the quarter-finals.

In the other semi-final, the eventual South American champions will face either Tunisian side Esperance, the African champions, or the eventual Asian Champions League winners.

The Club World Cup, to be staged in Qatar in December, will be the penultimate edition of the tournament in its current form. From 2021, it will become a 24-team event staged every four years rather than a seven-team contest held annually.

Liverpool won the old European Cup in 1977 and 1978 but declined to play in the old two-leg Intercontinental Cup final against Boca Juniors, the champions of South America.

In 1981, they lost to Flamengo in a single match played in Tokyo and in 1984 were beaten by Independiente.

In 2005, with the title now decided by a seven-team tournament, they reached the final where they lost to Sao Paulo.

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