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Real Madrid and manager Carlo Ancelotti have clarified that the Champions League winners will compete in next year’s Club World Cup, despite Ancelotti previously stating the club would “refuse the invitation.”

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Ancelotti’s initial comment appeared in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale released on Monday. However, the 65-year-old later posted on social media, clarifying that his words were “not interpreted in the way I intended.” He added, “Nothing could be further from my interest than to reject the possibility of playing in a tournament that I consider could be a great opportunity to continue fighting for big titles with Real Madrid.”

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Real Madrid is one of 12 European teams already qualified for the 32-team FIFA tournament, scheduled to be held in the USA between June 15 and July 13, 2025.

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In a statement, the La Liga champions said: “Real Madrid would like to announce that at no time has there been any question regarding our participation in the new Club World Cup to be organised by FIFA in the coming 2024/2025 season. Our club will therefore take part, as planned, in this official competition, and we are proud and excited to be involved in it. We will once again inspire our millions of fans all over the world with another trophy.”

In the interview with Il Giornale, Ancelotti was quoted as saying: “FIFA can forget it, footballers and clubs will not participate in that tournament. A single Real Madrid match is worth 20 million, and FIFA wants to give us that amount for the whole cup. Negative. Like us, other clubs will refuse the invitation.”

The European Club Association (ECA) distanced itself from Ancelotti’s remarks.

Last month, FIFA rejected claims that world players’ union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association (WLA), which includes the Premier League, were not consulted over the tournament plans. FIFPRO and the WLA had called on FIFA to reschedule the tournament amid a threat of legal action.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters previously stated that the football calendar is “getting to a tipping point” with the number of matches teams are required to play. FIFA president Gianni Infantino expressed hope that FIFPRO and the WLA would stop this “futile debate,” adding, “Even with the new Club World Cup of FIFA with 32 teams and 63 matches every four years, FIFA is organising around 1% of the games of the top clubs in the world. All other matches, 98-99%, are organised by the different leagues, associations, confederations, by all of you – and that’s good. But here comes the thing – the one or two per cent of matches that FIFA organises is financing football all over the world.”

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