The 2025 Club World Cup is set to undergo significant changes, capturing the attention of football fans worldwide. The tournament will now take place every four years and feature a total of 32 teams. This transformation marks a departure from the current annual event, which involves only seven teams.
2025 Club World Cup: Everything You Need to Know
To fully comprehend the new format and team selection process, it is essential to understand the distribution of slots across continents:
The selection process for new format
Europe: From 2021 to 2024, four teams that have won the UEFA Champions League will secure a spot in the 2025 Club World Cup. Already confirmed are Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City, with the upcoming Champions League winner joining their ranks.
What about the remaining eight teams? Well, the top eight teams in the UEFA rankings, regardless of their Champions League performance, will also earn a place in this prestigious competition. This means clubs such as Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United have a chance to participate, even without winning the Champions League.
South America: The winners of the Copa Libertadores from 2021 to 2024 will qualify for the 2025 Club World Cup. Flamengo and Palmeiras have already secured their participation, and the remaining two teams will be determined by the European system. Additionally, the top two teams in the CONMEBOL rankings, irrespective of their Copa Libertadores performance, will also earn a spot. Currently, River Plate and Boca Juniors occupy these positions, offering them a chance to participate.
North America, Asia, and Africa: Following the same pattern as the previous continents, the winners of the respective continental championships, will represent North America, Asia, and Africa. Consequently, a total of 12 clubs will participate from these three continents.
Oceania: During the 2021 to 2024 period, teams that win the Oceania Champions League will participate in the Club World Cup. The selection will favor the clubs with higher rankings in the continental standings.
Host Country: The domestic league champion of the country hosting the tournament will secure a place in the Club World Cup. In 2025, as the event takes place in the United States, the winner of the 2024 MLS Cup will have the privilege of participating.
Now, an interesting question arises regarding European football. What happens if a team becomes a champion more than once within this four-year period?
For instance, what if Real Madrid or Manchester City triumphs next season? In such cases, the next highest-ranked team outside the four Champions League winners, based on UEFA rankings, will earn the additional spot. This rule applies only when a team achieves continental championship multiple times within the designated timeframe.
The reactions to this new format
The name “Club World Cup” truly reflects the grandeur of this tournament. With the inclusion of numerous teams, it now lives up to its global stature.
In the current format, where only 7 teams participate, the tournament concludes swiftly, diminishing its significance. Predicting the champion becomes relatively straightforward, as European clubs generally outshine the rest. This hampers the overall excitement and fails to maximize FIFA’s revenue potential.
The 2025 Club World Cup will feature the best European clubs and top Latin American teams. However, the tournament will span over a month. This heightened competition will make the tournament feel like the World Cup.
As a result, the audience demand will increase. And the increase in viewership means an increase in FIFA’s dividend.
That is, it is going to be a very profitable tournament for FIFA. Because so many heavyweight teams will participate, sponsors will also be hungry. Again the issues of broadcasting rights etc. That means it’s all about finances.
The upcoming changes to the Club World Cup have not come without their fair share of controversy. UEFA, the governing body for European football, has expressed their strong opposition to this revamped competition. They fear that the popularity of their esteemed Champions League tournament may decline as a result.
Additionally, UEFA is concerned about the increased pressure on players, especially if the Club World Cup coincides with the World Cup, adding an extra burden during an already demanding period. To mitigate these concerns, there have been discussions about potentially shortening the league season.
Another point of contention arises from the perceived arrogance of European clubs when pitted against teams from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Due to their financial superiority, European powerhouses may underestimate their opponents. However, this dynamic is not uncommon in the world of football, where disparities in resources and wealth often influence team dynamics. FIFA, the ultimate authority in global football, has disregarded UEFA’s opposition, asserting its supremacy in shaping the sport.
2025 FIFA Club World Cup Prize Money
FIFA may increase the prize money for the 2025 Club World Cup, although no official announcement has been made yet. To put things into perspective, the previous champion, Real Madrid, received $5 million in prize money.
However, from the 2025 Club World Cup, this amount is predicted to multiply significantly. As FIFA’s revenue streams grow, so too will the prize money awarded to participating teams. Despite UEFA’s opposition, it is clear that the financial prospects of the tournament have garnered significant attention and support.
There are opinions and concerns about the new Club World Cup format. However, it will be an exciting competition. The competition will challenge teams from different continents.
During the tournament, it is uncertain how UEFA will address their concerns. Additionally, it remains unclear if the increased prize money will be sufficient to attract clubs to participate. Only time will reveal the true impact of these changes on the world of football.