Mateo Kovačić Wins FIFA Club World Cup Trophy with Chelsea

Daniela Rogulj

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Chelsea footballers defeated Palmeiras 2-1 (1-1) in a dramatic outcome only after extra time in the Club World Cup final. With a goal scored by Lukaku in the 55th minute and a penalty by Kai Havertz in the second half of extra time, Chelsea became world champions. Kovačić was subbed out just before the match went to extra time, in the 91st minute. 

Thomas Tuchel returned to the bench after recovering from the coronavirus, while Edouard Mendy, who became the African champion with Senegal, returned to the goal after Kep was brilliant in the semifinal. 

The Blues’ stopper trio remained the same, with left-back Hudson-Odoi replacing Alonso. Instead of Jorginho, Kante started with Kovačić in the middle. Mount replaced Ziyech in the attack, while Havertz and Lukaku retained their starting positions. However, after half an hour, Mount came out for Pulišić.

Chelsea chased revenge in this tournament after they failed to win the Club World Cup in their only appearance so far in 2012. Brazilian club Corinthians won 1:0 then. All European clubs won the Cup after that year – Real Madrid four times, Bayern twice, and Barcelona and Liverpool once.

Recall, Kovačić has already won two Club World Cup titles with Real Madrid. Now, after winning the Champion League with Chelsea last season, he has taken the world title with the club he joined in 2018. Kovačić was also brilliant in the Club World Cup semifinal against Al-Hilal, completing 90 percent of his passes. The English media praised him after the match for another great performance. 

African champion Al Ahly won third place at this year’s Club World Club Cup, convincingly beating the Asian champion, Saudi Al Hilal 4-0 (3-0) in the match for third place.

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