Club World Cup: How Odion Ighalo Could Lead Al Hilal to Prestigious Title Against Real Madrid

Club World Cup: How Odion Ighalo Could Lead Al Hilal to Prestigious Title Against Real Madrid

  • Odion Ighalo could be the hero when Al-Hilal of Saudi take on Real Madrid in the FIFA Club World Cup final
  • The Nigerian international has been in free-scoring mode and will now hope to win his first intercontinental title
  • Real Madrid are clearly the favourites to win the trophy for the fifth time according to pundits and bookies

Nigerian international Odion Ighalo will be leading the attack for Saudi Arabia outfit Al-Hilal in the World Club Cup final against European giants Real Madrid.

Having won the Chinese FA Cup in 2019 and then the Saudi Professional League title last season, the 33-year-old will now set his sights on adding an intercontinental trophy to his cabinet.

The Super Eagles striker played a crucial part as Al-Hilal stunned Brazilian side Flamengo 3-2 on Tuesday to reach the final.

Odion Ighalo, Super Eagles, Al-Hilal, World Club Cup
Odion Ighalo set for clash with Real Madrid in FIFA Club World Cup final. Photo: Alex Grimm
Source: Getty Images

Los Blancos, on the other hand, defeated Al Ahly 4-1 at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah in Rabat, courtesy of goals from Vinicius Junior, Valverde, Rodrygo, and Sergio Arribas.

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All eyes on Ighalo

During his time at the Spanish club Granada, Ighalo faced Real Madrid on three occasions. However, he failed to score in any of the three.

Things are a lot more different now, as the striker continues to score goals week in and week-out. Ighalo also comes with more experience, having played for Manchester United.

He has already scored a combined 41 league goals for Al-Shabab and Al-Hilal since moving to Saudi Arabia in 2021.

The determined Ighalo earlier stated that Al-Hilal will give the European champions a run for their money at the Club World Cup.

He said via FIFA:

''We knew there were going to be some big games played in Morocco, so we’re really excited and looking forward to it. It’s always a great honour to play in this type of games against big teams.

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“So we’re working hard and looking forward to the tournament.”

Who are FIFA Club World Cup favourites?

Real Madrid have already won the title four times, and they are clearly the favourites for this year’s titles, and in fact, European clubs have won each of the past nine Club World Cup titles.

Statistics also have it that no club from outside either Europe or Brazil have ever won the tournament.

Soccernet adds that the final, which is slated for Saturday evening, February 11, at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah, will be rightly tagged the battle of the Asian and European Galactico's.

Real Madrid consider Ancelotti sacking

Sports Brief earlier reported that Carlo Ancelotti’s second stint as Real Madrid manager could be coming to an end soon if the Italian manager does not turn around the club’s recent poor form.

Real Madrid has suffered a dip in form since after the World Cup, dropping eight points behind Barcelona in the race for the La Liga title this season.

Ancelotti runs the risk of being sacked if he fails to win the FIFA Club World Cup.

Source: Sports Brief News