Host team Al Ain FC have impressed on their way to the final
Host Team Al Ain FC

The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 continues to set records on and off the pitch as the Emirates’ fourth hosting of world club football’s showpiece tournament proves to be its most dramatic edition to date.

The tournament kicked off on 12 December with a six-goal thriller, before hosts Al Ain FC edged past OFC Champions League winners Team Wellington FC in a penalty shoot-out. Since then the fans, glut of goals, shock upsets and top-class action have secured the competition a place in footballing folklore.

Records have already been set for the fastest goal in FIFA Club World Cup history, courtesy of Mohamed Ahmed’s strike after just 79 seconds of Al Ain’s second-round clash with CAF champions Esperance Sportive de Tunis, the fastest-ever Club World Cup hat-trick after Gareth Bale’s 11-minute treble in the 3-1 semi-final victory over AFC champions Kashima Antlers at Zayed Sports City Stadium and 24 goals being notched in the opening six matches – an all-time high in the tournament’s eight-game format. The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 has had it all.

And, with host team Al Ain impressing on the pitch, the hosts have scored eight goals in their thrilling run to the final to inspire a nation, it is little wonder the UAE’s largest stadium, Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, is officially sold out for the final, as tournament organsers revealed today.

We’ve seen a number of records broken at this tournament and it’s extremely satisfying that we can say we have set so many new numbers, on and off the pitch,” said Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Director, Marketing & Communications, FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 Local Organising Committee.

“Al Ain have done an incredible thing for the city, for the UAE and even for football in this region, as well as scoring the fastest goal, and memorable early goals in the first few minutes of their matches against Espérance Sportive de Tunis and River Plate. The Boss have scored eight goals and that is great for football in the UAE – they have set a new benchmark.

“I think by the time the final kicks off at 8.30pm on Saturday evening at Zayed Sports City, we will have broken so many more records as a tournament. Furthermore, it’s great to officially announce that as off today, we are officially sold out for the final.”