August 19, 2012
December 17, 2011
A question such as this—whether a particular tournament is meaningful—is often extremely subjective. Ask pretty much anyone outside of eastern Spain if the Copa Catalunya is important and they’ll ask what that is before shaking their head. I’ve compared the Europa League to the American college basketball second-tier National Invitational Tournament (NIT); the Intertoto Cup stopped existing in 2008, but you probably noticed right now when you read those words.
The FIFA Club World Cup, a yearly tournament since 2005 (there was a 2000 version as well) is the new incarnation of the Intercontinental Cup created in 1960. That tournament was hosted in Japan from 1980 until its assimilation into the FIFA brand after its 2004 edition (prior to 1980 there was a home-and-home format). Not everyone in Europe cared a massive amount about that tournament either and the trophy tally shows that: South America won 22 times to Europe’s 21. South American teams won the first 3 Club World Cups, but the 4 since then have all been won by European teams.