fc barcelona wins place in fifa club world cup uae 2009
FC Barcelona’s victory last night over English giants Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League Final in Rome has secured the Club’s place in the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 in Abu Dhabi from 9-19 December.
Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in front of 67,000 fans at the Stadio Olimpico with a match defining goal from Lionel Messi who, unmarked, placed a perfectly cushioned header past Van der Sar to give FC Barcelona the final definitive lead.
The result means that Abu Dhabi may play host to some of the biggest names in world football, such as Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Thierry Henry when the team participates in FIFA Club World Cup UAE in December. It also sets up the exciting prospect of a game between the local UFL champions Al Ahli and the UEFA champions on December 16th, Barcelona’s opening game, if Al Ahli win their earlier matches.
Barcelona is one of the world’s most popular football clubs and has been crowned European champion on three occasions.
The Club will be able to count on great support in Abu Dhabi as it has one of the most loyal and dedicated sets of supporters in the world. Locally, the Club sells more shirts in the UAE than any other international club and will enjoy the support of many of the 2,000 Spanish nationals living and working in the Emirates.
His Excellency Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi, UAE FA President, said " FC Barcelona is one of the greatest teams in the world and this will be the first time that the Club has played a competitive match in our region. This is a rare opportunity for all sports fans in the United Arab Emirates and GCC region to see European football at its best."
Last night, Lionel Messi said "This is the most important win of my life, I am the happiest man alive and I am happy for myself, for my family and for my country."
Elisa Labori, president of the FC Barcelona Fan Club of the UAE said: “Having FC Barcelona coming to the UAE is a dream come true for UAE fans. Mark my words, for every game they play at the FIFA Club World Cup there will be a mass of Barcelona fans cheering on their heroes.”
The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 presented by TOYOTA will see seven teams compete over the course of eight matches from 9-19 December for a prize fund of 16.5 million USD, with the overall winners earning 5 million USD.
Barcelona is the fourth team to have qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009. They join AL Ahli who won the UFL on Sunday, along with Auckland City (New Zealand), of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), and Atlante FC (Mexico) representing the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), who both qualified earlier this month.
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