The new Club World Cup format will include 32 teams, with powerhouses Manchester City, Chelsea, and Real Madrid already qualifying.
Before the planet’s top men’s national teams descend on North America in 2026, the United States will welcome the world’s best domestic clubs. The U.S. will reportedly host the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup in the first year of an expanded 32-team format that will showcase the top teams from every region on Earth.
The current format launched in 2000 and features just seven teams comprised of one host country and the winners of the six global continental confederation tournaments. That includes Champions League winners from Europe’s UEFA, the Asian Football Confederation, Confederation of African Football, South America’s CONMEBOL, the Oceanic Football Confederation, and CONCACAF from North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The final version of the seven-team format will take place in Saudi Arabia this December and include Saudi Professional League winner Al-Ittihad, England’s Manchester City, Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds, Egypt’s Al Ahly, Mexico’s Club Léon, New Zealand’s Auckland City, and the winner of South America’s prized Coba Libertadores tournament, which ends in November.
Instead of every year, the new Club World Cup will take place every four and will include teams from all six confederations determined as the following:
- 12 teams from UEFA that will include Champions League winners from 2020-21 through 2023-24. That means Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City have earned their spots with one more still up for grabs. The eight other teams will be determined by a ranking system over the aforementioned four-year cumulative period.
- CONMEBOL will have six teams, including the four Copa Libertadores winners, and then the top two cumulatively ranked clubs. Palmeiras and Flamengo have already qualified.
- CONCACAF will include the four Champions League winners. Léon, Monterrey, and the Seattle Sounders have already qualified.
- The Asian Football Confederation will include its four Champions League winners. The Urawa Red Diamonds, Al-Hillal, and Ulsan Hyundai have already qualified.
- The four Confederation of African Football Champions League winners will qualify, including Al Ahly and Wydad AC.
- The highest-ranked Oceanic Football Confederation team over the four-year span.
- One host country team, to be determined.
The Club World Cup will be smack in the middle of a massive run of the U.S. hosting major world soccer events, including Cópa America in 2024, the FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2026, the Olympics in 2028, and possibly the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027.
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