Arsenal, Tottenham and Man Utd Club World Cup qualification explained as Real Madrid drop out

The FIFA Club World Cup is expanding for next year with 32 teams taking part in a huge new competition. The first edition of FIFA's new prime club competition will be played in the USA.

It will bring together clubs from each of the six international confederations - AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC and of course UEFA. Previously it involved just seven teams - one from each confederation, plus an extra team from the host confederation.

But FIFA have made a major expansion to the tournament for next year, with 32 teams taking part in a pre-season tournament to be held in June and July.

But how do you qualify? Here takes a look at the ins and outs of the tournament...

How many UEFA teams take part?

UEFA will have 12 representatives at the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup. These 12 will be made up of the past four winners of the Champions League - Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea. With Real Madrid having won it twice in the last four seasons, another club will qualify via the rankings system.

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How does the rankings system work?

This is also based on the last four seasons in the Champions League. Teams accrue points based on their performances in the last four seasons.

Points are awarded as follows:

  • 4 points for qualification for the group stage

  • 2 points for a win

  • 1 point for a draw

  • 5 points for qualification for the round of 16

  • 1 point for progress to each stage of the competition thereafter

Who else has already qualified?

Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Porto, Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Juventus and RB Salzburg have also mathematically qualified for the 2025 tournament, based on their Champions League performances in the past four seasons.

That means all the teams have qualified and no one else can?

Well, Real Madrid have rejected the chance to take part in the 2025 tournament, instead preferring to go on a pre-season tour. That would leave one more spot open.

It will now come down to the rankings system to see who that spot would go to.

Could Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool or Manchester United get in?

In short, no. Liverpool would have been one of the automatic qualifiers, given their ranking of eight in UEFA, but the tournament only allows two teams from one country to take part and with Man City and Chelsea having won the Champions League in the past four years, the English spots are taken.

That is why RB Leipzig would also fail to make it, despite being next in line. Barcelona, though, ranked at 12, would seemingly replace Real Madrid in the tournament, given it would be a Spanish team replacing a Spanish team. It is also the reason RB Salzburg - ranked 18th - made it into the tournament.

Man Utd are ranked 21st, Arsenal are ranked 27th and Tottenham are ranked 30th, given each team only played in the Champions League once or twice in the last four campaigns.