Who has won the most Club World Cup?

The FIFA Club World Cup is an international club football competition organized by FIFA. It involves the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations, as well as the national league champion from the host country. The Club World Cup has been held annually since 2005.

Quick Answers

Real Madrid has won the most Club World Cup titles, with 4 victories in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The Club World Cup has been held 16 times since its inception in 2000. Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated, winning 7 of the 16 tournaments between them.

European clubs have had the most success, winning 12 out of 16 editions. No club from outside Europe has ever won the tournament.

Club World Cup Format

The format of the Club World Cup has changed over the years, but typically involves 7 teams competing in a knockout style tournament held over the course of 1-2 weeks in December.

The 7 teams are:

  • Winners of the UEFA Champions League (Europe)
  • Winners of the Copa Libertadores (South America)
  • Winners of the AFC Champions League (Asia)
  • Winners of the CAF Champions League (Africa)
  • Winners of the CONCACAF Champions League (North America)
  • Winners of the OFC Champions League (Oceania)
  • A team from the host nation – usually the national league champions

The teams enter the competition at different stages, with the champions of weaker confederations entering at the earlier rounds. The Champions League winners start at the semi-final stage.

Club World Cup Winners by Year

Here is the list of Club World Cup winners and runners up for each edition of the tournament:

Year Winner Score Runner-up
2000 Corinthians 0–0 (4–3 p) Vasco da Gama
2005 São Paulo 1–0 Liverpool
2006 Internacional 1–0 Barcelona
2007 Milan 4–2 Boca Juniors
2008 Manchester United 1–0 LDU Quito
2009 Barcelona 2–1 Estudiantes
2010 Internazionale 3–0 TP Mazembe
2011 Barcelona 4–0 Santos
2012 Corinthians 1–0 Chelsea
2013 Bayern Munich 2–0 Raja Casablanca
2014 Real Madrid 2–0 San Lorenzo
2015 Barcelona 3–0 River Plate
2016 Real Madrid 4–2 Kashima Antlers
2017 Real Madrid 1–0 Gremio
2018 Real Madrid 4–1 Al Ain
2019 Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo
2020 Bayern Munich 1-0 Tigres UANL
2021 Chelsea 2-1 Palmeiras

Club World Cup Wins by Team

Looking at the list of winners, Real Madrid and Barcelona stand out with 4 Club World Cup titles each. Here is a summary of wins by team:

Team Number of Wins
Real Madrid 4
Barcelona 4
Corinthians 2
São Paulo 1
Internacional 1
AC Milan 1
Manchester United 1
Internazionale 1
Bayern Munich 2
Liverpool 1
Chelsea 1

Real Madrid and Barcelona are tied for the most Club World Cup titles, with 4 wins each. Real Madrid won the tournament in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Barcelona were champions in 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2022.

European Dominance

As the table shows, the tournament has been dominated by European clubs, who have won 12 of the 16 editions to date. Real Madrid and Barcelona account for over half of the European wins.

No club from outside of Europe has managed to win the Club World Cup. The best performing non-European teams have been Corinthians from Brazil with 2 titles, and Interacional from Brazil with 1 title.

This European dominance is perhaps unsurprising, given the financial strength of Europe’s major clubs compared to other continents. UEFA’s Champions League is able to attract the best players from around the world, making its clubs difficult to beat.

Why Real Madrid and Barcelona Have Dominated

Real Madrid and Barcelona have been the most successful clubs in the short history of the Club World Cup, but why have they dominated?

Success in the Champions League

The first reason is that both clubs have consistently made it to the Club World Cup by winning the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid have been European champions a record 13 times, while Barcelona have 5 Champions League titles.

Winning the Champions League earns direct entry to the Club World Cup semi-finals, giving these teams an advantage over other continental champions who have to start from the quarter or earlier rounds.

Squad Depth & Quality

Madrid and Barcelona are able to field teams packed with world class talent in every position. Both clubs have huge budgets that allow them to assemble squads with multiple top quality players in each position.

This gives them a huge advantage against opposition who may have 2 or 3 star players, but are weaker overall.

Global Scouting & Recruitment

Real Madrid and Barcelona have scouting networks that span the globe and allow them to identify and recruit the best players in the world. Again, their financial clout makes them attractive destinations for top talent.

This ensures they have quality in depth to rotate their squads for the Club World Cup at the end of long seasons.


In summary, Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated the short history of the FIFA Club World Cup, with 4 titles each. Their success can be attributed to their consistency in qualifying via winning the Champions League, their ability to assemble squads packed with talent, and their global recruitment reach.

European clubs have dominated in general, with 12 of the 16 Club World Cups won by teams from UEFA. No club from outside Europe has managed to break this stranglehold, but perhaps that could change in future editions.

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