Carlo Ancelotti clarifies comments about Real Madrid boycotting Club World Cup

  • Real Madrid qualified for new-look Club World Cup in 2025
  • Competition format has been widely criticised
  • Ancelotti quoted as saying Madrid would refuse to play
Ancelotti has changed his stance
Ancelotti has changed his stance / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid have no intention of rejecting their invite to the new-look Club World Cup next year, after an interview in which he appeared to suggest a boycott went viral.

As Champions League winners, Madrid have booked a place in a tournament which has been widely condemned for its shift in format. The 2025 iteration will be held in the summer, rather than in mid-season, and will see a shift to a 32-team competition.

Asked about taking Madrid to the Club World Cup in an interview with Il Giornale, Ancelotti is quoted as saying: "FIFA can forget about that. Footballers and clubs will not participate in that tournament. A single Madrid match is worth €20m and FIFA wants to give us that figure for the entire tournament: negative. Like us, several clubs will reject the invitation."

However, in a post on social media, Ancelotti walked back on his previous statement.

"In my interview with Il Giornale, my words about the FIFA Club World Cup were not interpreted in the way I intended," he wrote. "Nothing could be further from my interest than to reject the possibility of playing in a tournament that I consider could be a great opportunity to continue fighting for big titles with Real Madrid."

Madrid themselves posted a statement insisting they are looking forward to participating in the tournament.

Carlo Ancelotti
Ancelotti will lead Madrid at the Club World Cup next summer / Pedro Castillo/GettyImages

"Real Madrid CF would like to announce that at no time there has been any question regarding our participation in the new Club World Cup to be organised by FIFA in the coming 2024/2025 season," they said.

"Our club will therefore take part, as planned, in this official competition and we are proud and excited to be involved in it and we will once again inspire our millions of fans all over the world with another trophy."

Under the previous format, the Champions League winners would join the Club World Cup at the semi-final stage and face just two games, but Madrid now face the prospect of playing seven matches at the end of what promises to be another hectic campaign.

La Liga have previously threatened legal action against FIFA for the new format, while many have accused the governing body of prioritising money over player welfare.