The 2016 FIFA Club World Cup begins Thursday in Japan, with seven teams from around the globe vying for the title, which will be handed out Dec. 17. ESPN FC’s Nick Ames profiles the competing clubs and what to watch for over the 10-day tournament.
Here’s the match schedule, with Kashima Antlers facing Auckland City in the playoff round on Dec. 8.
First game: vs. Jeonbuk Motors or Club America, Dec. 15
Who are they? Champions League holders, leaders of La Liga by six points and winners of this competition two years ago too. There are no prizes for guessing why Real are overwhelming favourites to win the Club World Cup this year, and their toughest opponent this time around might be their hectic schedule on domestic and European…