2025 FIFA Club World Cup: New and Expanded Format, Host, Already Qualified Teams

Published 12/08/2023, 5:23 AM EST

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Since its inception in 2000, the FIFA Club World Cup has been bringing together top soccer clubs from across continents to compete on the same stage. The current format features seven teams which include the winners of that year’s AFC Champions League (Asia), CAF Champions League (Africa), CONCACAF Champions Cup (North and Central America), CONMEBOL Libertadores (South America), OFC Champions League (Oceania) and UEFA Champions League (Europe), and the host nation’s national champions. However, this seven-team format will soon be a story of the past.

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In 2025, the soccer world will witness a much larger revamped FIFA Club World Cup, which will feature a whopping 32 teams. Now let us look at how FIFA has changed the competition’s format to make room for all 32 teams to compete for the silverware.

2025 FIFA Club World Cup: revamped format

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Earlier in July, FIFA announced they would scrap the existing Club World Cup format after the 2023 edition in Saudi Arabia to expand into a 32-team tournament. The 2025 FIFA World Cup will be played in the USA.  Twelve teams from Europe, six from South America, four from each of the CONCACAF, CAF, and AFC regions, one team from OFC, and one team from the USA will feature in the 2025 edition. Per the new format, the FIFA World Cup will be held once every four years.

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However, FIFA will hold a cross-continental soccer competition annually. The tournament will see a final between the UEFA Champions League winner and the winner of intercontinental play-offs between the clubs representing the other confederations.

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The USA has time and again shown prowess in hosting global events and apparently landed the chance to host the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup. Moreover, the 2025 championship in the US would help FIFA deliver the best for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in North America.

Teams Qualified for the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup

Out of the 12 European teams to feature in the 2025 Club World Cup, four will be UEFA Champions League winners from 2021 to 24. Therefore, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City have already qualified for this tournament, awaiting this year’s UCL winner. The remaining eight European teams will be selected based on club rankings. From South America’s CONMEBOL, the Brazilian clubs Flamengo, Fluminense, and Palmeiras have qualified for the tournament in the USA. This year’s Copa Libertadores winner and two other best-ranked clubs will also qualify.

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From Asia, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds have qualified. Two teams that win the upcoming AFC Champions League will join the tournament. CAF’s Al Ahly (Egypt) and Wydad Casablanca (Morocco), and CONCACAF’s Club León (Mexico), Monterrey (Mexico), and Seattle Sounders (US) have also made it to the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup.

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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M

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Krishna Prasad is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He holds professional qualifications in English and Journalism from reputed institutions. As a trained reporter, Krishna's intense passion for sports writing prompted him to become an NBA journalist.
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Edited by:

Sreeda U M

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