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  • Ahmed Saleh

20th Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia, December 12-22, records exceptional statistics

Jeddah, December 24, 2023, The 20th edition of the Club World Cup, hosted for the first time in the Kingdom from December 12 to 22, has achieved exceptional statistics and achievements. It witnessed intense competition among the seven participating teams, complemented by a splendid international fan turnout from various continents, enhancing the overall excitement of the tournament. In this edition, Manchester City made its mark in the golden champions' list of the tournament after clinching its first title in the last version of the championship under its current format, which is set to change in the upcoming editions.

Karim Benzema, the French player from Saudi's Al-Ittihad FC, made history by becoming the first player to score in four different editions of the FIFA Club World Cup. Notably, Julian Alvarez of Manchester City clinched the title for the fastest goal in Club World Cup history, scoring just 40 seconds into the final match against Brazil's Fluminense. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola, the Spanish coach of Manchester City, strengthened his status as the most successful coach, securing his fourth title. In a separate achievement, Egypt's Al-Ahly claimed their fourth bronze medal in tournament history.

Fluminense's Felipe Melo also etched his name in history, emerging as the oldest outfield player in the tournament at the age of 40. These accomplishments add to an array of statistics highlighting the excellence of the Saudi edition of the championship.

The Saudi edition witnessed record-breaking attendance during the opening match at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium between Al-Ittihad FC and New Zealand's Auckland City, surpassing figures from the previous 19 editions. With a turnout of over 50,000 fans, this achievement drew international acclaim, receiving praise from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, continental football association leaders, and global media personalities.

Throughout the tournament, including the final, fans from different continents flocked to the Kingdom to support their favorite teams or simply revel in the World Cup atmosphere gracing Jeddah and its distinctive tourist areas.

This edition of the tournament also introduced a special passport stamp initiative at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, led by the Ministry of Sports in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior's General Directorate of Passports.

The tournament featured vibrant fan zones that attracted a substantial presence. Specially organized events within these zones and various tourist locations in Jeddah offered fans exceptional experiences, crafting enduring memories.

Media coverage was robust, with over 500 journalists—both male and female—representing major entities. They received top-notch organizational and logistical support at King Abdullah Sports City and Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal stadiums, facilitating comprehensive coverage of the matches.

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