Liverpool are aiming to move a step closer to Club World Cup glory with a win over Monterrey tonight. Here are the best stats ahead of the semi-final.
A Look Back
This version of the competition was first contested in 2000 as the FIFA Club World Championship.
It was not held between 2001-04. 2005 was the first year in this format and it has been held every year since, hosted by Brazil, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Morocco.
The tournament involves the champions of Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania and Europe as well as the host nation’s national champions.
This is the 16th edition and although it has historically been held in the utmost esteem in South America it has been regarded less so in Europe.
Prior to that there was an Intercontinental Cup which was a two-legged affair between the European Cup and Copa Libertadores winners from 1960-1979.
From 1980-2001 it was played over a single leg and held in Japan.
Liverpool refused to compete in the 1977 and 1978 competition but interest increased somewhat with the rebirth in 1980 when Uruguay’s Nacional beat Nottingham Forest.
Liverpool’s History With the World
Liverpool have played three times in a match to decide the World Club champions.
In 1981 they competed for the first time when they faced Flamengo who had won their first Copa Libertadores. The Reds had defeated Real Madrid in the European Cup Final in Paris.
Flamengo won 3-0 in Tokyo with Nunes scoring twice and one from Adilio – all the goals coming in the first half. Brazilian legends Junior and Zico were also in the winners’ team.
In 1984 the Reds met Independiente of Argentina and lost 1-0 with Jose Percudani scoring the only goal.
In 2005 they played in this format and met Deportivo Sarprissa in the semi-final. Liverpool defeated the Costa Ricans 3-0 with Peter Crouch scoring either side of a Steven Gerrard goal.
In the final three days later the Reds lost 1-0 to Sao Paulo with Mineiro scoring the only goal to end a Liverpool run of 11 successive clean sheets. Rafa Benitez’s men had three goals disallowed.
Only one English club won this competition prior to its rebranding – Manchester United beat Palmeiras 1-0 with Roy Keane netting the only goal in 1999.
From 2005, under this format, Real Madrid have won it most often (four times, including the last three) while Barcelona have lifted the trophy on three occasions.
Europe has provided 11 winners in total – also AC Milan, Inter Milan, Manchester United and Bayern Munich (once each). Spain, with seven, has won the Cup more times than any other nation.
European teams have won 11 of the last 12 tournaments. The exception being Corinthians in 2012.
South America has won it on four occasions – Corinthians (twice) and Sao Paulo and Internacional once each.
Since 2005 both teams have scored in only four of the 14 finals.
View from Monterrey
They have won four league titles and two domestic cups.
They are the CONCACAF Champions League winners and are their continent’s most prolific participants in this tournament along with fellow Mexicans Pachuca (each have four). They finished third in 2012.
They are coached by Antonio Mohamed – this is his second spell with the club (the first February 2015 – May 2018). He returned after managing in La Liga for a time with Celta Vigo (May – November 2018).
Rogelio Gabriel Funes Mori is a 28-year-old forward – the twin brother of former Everton player Ramiro Funes Mori.
Two Games, Two Continents
This game will see Liverpool play on consecutive days for the 104th time in their history.
The last time was 26th and 27th December 1986 when they won 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday after losing by the same score at home to Manchester United the previous day.
This will be the shortest period of time between the start of two Liverpool fixtures ever – 21 hours 45 minutes, shorter than 23 hours 30 minutes when they played matches on successive days in both 1897-98 and 1923-24.
More Goals in Sight
Naby Keita has scored five goals in his last 12 starts for the Reds. He could score in a third successive Liverpool appearance for the first time.
Mo Salah has found the net four times in his last three Liverpool appearances. His tally of 84 in all competitions puts him 18th on the Reds all-time scorers list. Next in his sights is John Toshack’s total of 96.
Sadio Mane has scored 30 goals for Liverpool so far in 2019. He is one of only 11 Liverpool players to achieve the feat and it is only the 17th time in the club’s history the landmark has been achieved.
James Milner’s next appearance will be his 200th for Liverpool.
Reds’ Run Pre-Villa
Liverpool have won each of the last 33 games in which they have scored the first goal, including the penalty shoot-out victory over Arsenal in the League Cup.
The Reds are unbeaten in league and cup in the last 47 games (44 wins, 3 draws) when scoring the first goal since losing to Chelsea at Anfield in the League Cup last season.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men have won 37 of their last 42 games in league and cup including the penalty shoot-out victories over Chelsea in the European Super Cup and Arsenal in the League Cup.
Only one team, Napoli back in September, has prevented Liverpool from scoring in the last 31 matches and they are the only team to have defeated Liverpool in normal time this season.
Liverpool are six goals short of recording 500 under Jurgen Klopp. They have played 235 games.
* This batch of stats predates the meeting with Aston Villa on Tuesday.
Scorers This Season
Liverpool: Mane 13, Salah 13, Origi 5, Oxlade-Chamberlain 5, Firmino 4, Milner 3, Van Dijk 3, Wijnaldum 3, Keita 2, Matip 2, Robertson 2, Alexander-Arnold 1, Fabinho 1, Henderson 1, Hoever 1, Lallana 1, Lovren 1, Shaqiri 1, own goals 3