Man City's confirmed Club World Cup opponents as European giant misses out

Phil Foden celebrates winning the FIFA Club World Cup
Phil Foden celebrates winning the FIFA Club World Cup -Credit:Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Manchester City might have been knocked out of the Champions League in midweek, but they will still travel to the Club World Cup next summer as defending champions.

City will defend the trophy they won in December as a result of winning last season's Champions League which earned them automatic entry into the expanded Club World Cup. The competition has undergone a major and controversial facelift amid an expansion to 32 teams, adding further matches to the football calendar.

City will travel to the US as defending champions and while some details are yet to be confirmed, the list of participating teams is becoming clearer. Here's everything you need to know.

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Who has already qualified?

All 12 European slots have been confirmed following this week's Champions League action and the biggest news is that Barcelona miss out. The Nou Camp side were knocked out by PSG on Tuesday, preventing them from overhauling Atletico Madrid in the UEFA four-year ranking.

It means Atletico become the second Spanish side to qualify, with a limit of two teams per country meaning Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg took the final spot.

City are joined by Chelsea, courtesy of their Champions League win in 2021, while Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG have all qualified.

Porto, Benfica, Inter Milan, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund complete the line-up so far.

Elsewhere, Al Hilal, Urawa Red Diamonds, Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca, Monterrey, Seattle Sounders, Leon, Palmeiras, Fluminense, Flamengo and Auckland City have also confirmed their participation.

Can Ronaldo or Messi still make it?

Yes and no. Ronaldo's Al-Nassr were in contention to take a slot if they won the AFC Champions League. Having progressed through qualifying, the group stage and the round of 16, they were knocked out in the quarter-finals last month.

For Messi, the dream is hanging by a thread. His Inter Miami were knocked out of CONCACAF Champions Cup this month with the winners of the tournament qualifying. But there is still a route to qualification with the US, as hosts, having one slot to fill; the process of which will be decided at a later date.

When is the Club World Cup and what is the format?

The tournament runs from Sunday June 15 to Sunday July 13, 2025. The 32 qualifiers will be divided into eight groups of four with the top two progressing to the knockouts. There is no third place play off.

Who is hosting the Club World Cup?

The tournament takes place in America. Venues have yet to be confirmed but matches are expected to be staged on the East Coast to suit European broadcasters and viewers and avoid a clash with the Gold Cup which takes place primarily in the US at the same time but on the West Coast.