The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021™, presented by Alibaba Cloud, was delayed until February 2022 due to the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The title went to a European side for the ninth time in a row as Chelsea beat South American champions Palmeiras 2-1 late in extra time of the final. In fact, Chelsea had been the last European side to lose in the final, when they were beaten by Palmeiras’ neighbours Corinthians back in 2012.
Palmeiras became the eighth Brazilian team to reach the final thanks to Raphael Veiga and Dudu scoring either side of half-time to give them a 2-0 semi-final win over CAF champions Al Ahly, who had eliminated Concacaf champions Monterrey with a 1-0 win in the second round.
Meanwhile, Chelsea overcame AFC champions Al Hilal – who had previously beaten Al Jazira from the host nation – thanks to the match’s only goal, scored by Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku after half an hour of their semi-final.