After being crowned champion of the Copa Libertadores on Sunday night in Madrid, River Plate will represent South America at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, which begins in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.
Coached by Marcelo Gallardo, the team will make its debut in the tournament on December 18th, when it takes part in one of the semi-finals.
River’s rival has not yet been defined: UAE’s Al-Ain will face New Zealand’s Team Wellington for a spot in the quarterfinals. The winner will clash with Tunisia’s Esperance de Tunis; whoever wins this match will move on to the semi-final, where River will be waiting.
This will be the fourth time the Emirates host the event. After debuting in 2009, the tournament was successfully staged in the country in 2010 and once again last year.
The 15th staging of the FIFA Club World Cup features winners of the clubs from each of the six continental confederations, as well as the national league champions of the host nation.
River Plate was the final team to punch its ticket to Abu Dhabi. They join UAE champions Al Ain, Real Madrid, Mexico’s Guadalajara, Japan’s Kashima Antlers, Esperance de Tunis, and Team Wellington.