River Plate and Flamengo ease through to final

Defending champions River Plate will face Flamengo in the final of the 2019 Copa Libertadores, to be played as a single match at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile, on 23 November.

The Argentinians saw off arch rivals Boca Juniors in the semis, while O Mengâo dispatched compatriots Gremio.El Millonario are looking for title number five in what will be their seventh Copa final and the Brazilians only their second crown, 38 years after their one previous appearance in the final.

AFC Champions League to be expanded to 40 teams starting 2021 season

The AFC Champions League (ACL) will be expanded to accommodate 40 clubs from across Asia starting 2021 season, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced.

At present, Asia’s premier club football competition features 32 teams who are drawn into eight groups of four teams each. Of the eight groups, four feature clubs from the West Zone (Groups A to D) while the other four groups feature teams from East Zone (Groups E to H).
The AFC has now decided to make it a 40-team affair meaning that the upcoming 2020 season will be the final edition of the AFC Champions League featuring 32 teams.

“From the 2021 season, the ACL will be expanded to 40 clubs with an extra group of four being added in both the East and West Zones and further growing the reputation of one of the richest continental club competitions in the world,” AFC said.

The decision was taken during the second AFC Executive Committee meeting of the 2019-2023 cycle that was chaired by AFC vice-president and FIFA Council member Saoud Al Mohannadi in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Top 10 most valuable club squads in Asia revealed

The Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs have continued to dominate when it comes to costliest squads in Asian club football scene, as per the latest valuations.

TransferMarkt.com has recently released a list of 20 Asian clubs with most valuable squads and three Chinese clubs are topping the list having squads with highest market values in Asia.

2018 Chinese Super League winners Shanghai SIPG FC have the most valuable squad in Asia valued at €87 million. The side boasts of Brazilian superstars Oscar and Hulk and currently trails Guangzhou Evergrande FC by three points at the top of the CSL standings.

Guangzhou, incidentally, have the second most-valuable squad in Asia with a value of €76 million. Former Barcelona midfielder Paulinho and compatriot Anderson Talisca are the costliest stars in the Evergrande squad worth €31.5 million and €25 million respectively.

Dalian Yifang, who are currently ninth in the 16-team Chinese Super League, have the third most-costliest squad in Asia at a value of €68 million. Belgium international Yannick Carrasco is their most expensive star at €25 million while Marek Hamsik and Salomon Rondon are not far behind.

Saudi Professional League outfit Al Nassr FC are the first non-Chinese side in the list with a squad worth €58 million while their local rivals Al Ahli SFC are fifth with a squad value of €56 million.
Beijing Guoan FC are sixth in Asia with squad value of €47 million while AFC Champions League 2019 finalists Al Hilal SFC are seventh with a squad worth €46 million.
Shanghai Shenhua are eighth with a squad value of €43 million while Shandong Luneng are behind them with €33 million.
Jiangsu Suning are the 10th team on the list with a squad value of €31 million.

Top 10 most-valuable squads in Asia

  1. Shanghai SIPG FC – Chinese Super League – €87 million
  2. Guangzhou Evergrande FC – Chinese Super League – €76 million
  3. Dalian Yifang FC – Chinese Super League – €68 million
  4. Al Nassr FC – Saudi Professional League – €58 million
  5. Al Ahli SFC – Saudi Professional League – €58 million
  6. Beijing Guoan FC – Chinese Super League – €47 million
  7. Al Hilal SFC – Saudi Professional League – €46 million
  8. Shanghai Shenhua – Chinese Super League – €43 million
  9. Shandong Luneng – Chinese Super League – €33 million
  10. Jiangsu Suning – Chinese Super League – €31 million

FIFA Club World Cup: China to host expanded 24-team tournament in 2021

China will host the first edition of expanded FIFA Club World Cup, the world football's governing body said on Thursday.

The Club World Cup, which presently have seven teams, will see the participation of 24 teams in the tournament in 2021.

FIFA said that the world football's governing body decided in "a unanimous vote", allowing 24 teams to take part in the tournament.

"The FIFA Council convened today in Shanghai and voted on a number of key steps for the future of international tournaments, including a unanimous decision to appoint China PR as the host of the first edition of the new FIFA Club World Cup in 2021," FIFA added.

This tournament will be held from June to July 2021 and the final list of venues will be decided by the world football's governing body and Chinese Football Association.

Qatar will host the competition this year and in 2020.

On Dec. 22, 2018, Spanish giants Real Madrid defeated 4-1 Al-Ain from the UAE in final, bagging their fourth title in FIFA Club World Cup history.