Arsenal exit gives FC Salzburg 2025 Club World Cup place

FC Salzburg will take part in the inaugural expanded Club World Cup next year after being awarded the last of the 12 places for European teams.

A place was previously reserved for this year’s Champions League winners, however all four teams in the semifinals have already qualified for the Club World Cup, meaning the place has been reallocated. It goes to the best-performing club in the competition over the past four years who are not already in the competition.

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Salzburg’s place was confirmed after Arsenal were eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Arsenal would have taken Europe’s last spot at the Club World Cup had they won this season’s Champions League.

Some of Europe’s biggest clubs were ineligible from being granted the place due to a two-club limit on teams from one country (unless more than two different clubs win the continental title, as is the case with Brazil.) Liverpool (7th), RB Leipzig (11th), Barca (12th), Napoli (15th), Sevilla (16th) and AC Milan (17th) were all ahead of FC Salzburg in the table but were locked out by other teams from their country.

FC Salzburg, only ranked 18th in the performance table, have featured in the group stages for the past four years and made the round of 16 in 2022.

Thirty-two teams will take place in the new Club World Cup, the first edition taking place in the United States. It will also feature six teams from South America, four from Concacaf, Africa and Asia and one from Oceania. The 32nd place is reserved for the host confederation, though it has yet to be announced how Concacaf will determine its additional fifth berth.

Ten of the 12 European places were already known before this week, with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona also competing for a spot. Both LaLiga clubs were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday, meaning Atletico qualified as their four-year coefficient is higher than Barça’s and only one slot remained for a Spanish club.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid will be there as winners of the UCL in the qualifying period, 2020-21 through to 2023-24. Bayern, Paris Saint-Germain, Internazionale, FC Porto, Benfica, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Atletico take the coefficient places.

Twenty-three of the 32 teams are already known with the field to be completed by the end of the year.

The 32 clubs will be drawn into eight groups of four teams, with the top two teams going through to the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final of the month-long tournament.

EUROPE
Chelsea
Manchester City
Real Madrid
Bayern Munich
Paris Saint-Germain
Internazionale
FC Porto
Benfica
Borussia Dortmund
Juventus
Atletico Madrid
FC Salzburg

SOUTH AMERICA
Palmeiras
Flamengo
Fluminense
2024 Copa Libertadores winners
Two coefficient places TBD

CONCACAF
Monterrey
Seattle Sounders FC
León
2024 Concacaf Champions Cup winners
Host slot TBD

AFRICA
Al Ahly
Wydad Casablanca
2024 CAF Champions League winners
1 coefficient place TBD

ASIA
Al Hilal
Urawa Red Diamonds
2024 AFC Champions League winners
1 coefficient place TBD

OCEANIA
Auckland City