The present crop of German and European football champions Bayern Munich are keen to add the title of world champions to their enviable collection of accolades when the tournament kicks off on Thursday, February 4.
Only a hard-nosed football watcher would bet against the Bavarian side clinching their sixth trophy in the last 12 months – a feat only previously achieved in Europe by Barcelona in 2009.
If they win February’s FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, it will go into a trophy cabinet already chock full from their haul of trophies from the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the DFL Supercup honours.
It is testament to their desire to be the best and that incentive is behind the Munich club naming a full-strength squad of 23 to prosecute their ambitions in Qatar. Their part in the competition, as champions of Europe, begin in the semi-final stage where they are booked to confront either Qatar’s Al-Duhail or African champions Al Ahly of Egypt on Monday, February 8 at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al- Rayyan.
Beyond the semi-final, the winner of Palmeiras vs. Tigres/Ulsan Hyundai will be waiting, for Bayern, if they make it through the semis, for a final showdown at Education City Stadium on Thursday, 11 February.
When Bayern won their 2013 treble, they also added the FIFA Club World Cup to their cabinet and that was the last time they featured in the competition. Their return in 2021 sees squad members like goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defenders Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Javi Martinez and forward Thomas Muller all aiming to become two-time club world champions.
In 2013, Bayern triumphed over host team Raja Casablanca in Morocco thanks to goals from Dante Santos and Thiago Alcantara. In the semis, the goals for the 3-0 victory against Chinese Super League’s Guangzhou Evergrande came from Franck Ribery, Mario Mandzukic and Mario Götze.
As the full-strength Bavarian squad heads to Qatar, they prepare to make the Qatar trophy Bayern’s fourth global crown. Apart from that 2013 won, the Bundesliga giants have previously won the Intercontinental Cup in 1976 and 2001.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Alexander Nübel, Ron-Thorben Hoffmann
Defenders: Niklas Süle, Benjamin Pavard, Javi Martinez, Jerome Boateng, Bouna Sarr, Lucas Hernandez, David Alaba
Midfielders: Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Marc Roca, Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman, Jamal Musiala
Forwards: Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, Leroy Sane, Douglas Costa, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Alphonso Davies, Thomas Müller