As Chelsea prepare to take their bow in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, Christian Crowther looks at the format and the contenders...
Rafa Benitez: "It's a massive competition, I think everyone here in this club has the same idea as me, to win every trophy that you can."
WHY ARE CHELSEA IN IT?
By claiming their maiden Champions League trophy, Chelsea became kings of the continent and as a reward gain their invitation to the Club World Cup. They are joined by the other continental champions from AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North and Central America), OFC (Oceania) and CONMEBOL (South America), as well as a representative from the host country (Japan), on this occasion the J League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
HOW MANY GAMES MUST CHELSEA WIN TO LIFT THE TROPHY?
Chelsea will enter at the semi-final stage, obviously meaning it will take just two games to claim the trophy. This seeding is down to a rich history of UEFA representatives winning the competition. Historically, the next strongest continent is the South Americans so they too come in at the semi-final stage on the opposite side of the draw to Chelsea. Of the five other teams, the lowest seeded side (based on the success of each continent's representatives from previous tournaments) take on the hosts in the first game, with the winners joining the other three in two quarter-finals for the remaining semi-final spots.
WHO ARE CHELSEA UP AGAINST?
CONCACAF - Monterrey
Chelsea will play the CONCACAF Champions League holders Monterrey in their semi-final after they dispatched Asian champions Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 in their quarter-final. The Mexicans do possess some dangerous players such as teenage sensation Jesus Corona, who notched against Ulsan, and ex-Argentina international Cesar Delgado. However, Chelsea, who can be backed at 1.548/15 are still overwhelming favourites to book a final appearance over Monterrey, who are priced at 7.06/1
CONMEBOL - Corinthians
Undoubtedly Chelsea's main competition for the trophy, the Brazilian side are fresh from claiming their first Copa Libertadores (the South American Champions League) in July, which they did in dominating style - unbeaten in the competition - although they only finished sixth in the Brazilian national league. Corinthians claimed this trophy in its former guise on home soil in 2000 and are priced at 1.4640/85 to claim victory in their semi against Al Ahly.
CAF - Al Ahly
Up against Corinthians and rated at 8.88/1 are Egyptian side Al Ahly, replete with ex-Tottenham star Hossam Ghaly and Egyptian icon Mohamed Aboutrika, who claimed the winner over local side Sanfrecce Hiroshima in a 2-1 quarter-final victory.
HOW DO EUROPEAN TEAMS USUALLY GET ON?
UEFA representatives make up the last five winners of this competition, with Barcelona claiming the prize twice in the last three years and Manchester United scooping it following their 2007/08 Champions League triumph. The preceding three winners all hailed from South America.
WILL CHELSEA FIELD THEIR STRONGEST TEAM?
Although John Terry misses the tournament through injury, Frank Lampard is a notable inclusion who will relish some first-team action. The unfortunate Oriol Romeu will be missing after knee surgery but John Obi Mikel can step in as his domestic suspension doesn't apply in Japan. Rafa Benitez, who won the trophy with Inter in 2010, has made his intentions clear by saying: "It's a massive competition, I think everyone here in this club has the same idea as me, to win every trophy that you can."