Real Madrid Included in FIFA Club World Cup Draw as They Look to Defend Title

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2017

Real Madrid players celebrate on the podium after defeating Kashima Antlers in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
Shuji Kajiyama/Associated Press

Real Madrid know their route to the FIFA Club World Cup final following Monday's draw as they seek to defend the title they won in 2016. 

FIFA revealed the draw on Twitter, with Los Blancos entering at the semi-final stage, as is customary of UEFA Champions League winners:

The opening match will be contested by Al Jazirathe league champions of host country the United Arab Emiratesand OFC Champions League winners Auckland City, with the victors set to take on the winners of the Asian Champions League for the right to take on Madrid.

On the other side of the draw, CONCACAF Champions League winners Pachuca face the African Champions League title-holders.

Whoever emerges on top in that clash will then meet the Copa Libertadores champions in the other semi-final.

The premier South American competition is only at the semi-final stage, as are the Asian and African equivalents, so each of those spaces in the draw can still be occupied by a number of teams.

The Club World Cup has only ever been won by European or South American sides.

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