Competition Focus

FC Barcelona At Risk Of Losing Club World Cup 2025 Place

As highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, FC Barcelona’s two defeats in the Champions League have meant that they could miss out on more than $6.15 million (€5.6 million).

Xavi Hernandez’s men did the hard work in Group H by beating their most difficult rival Porto twice.

What was not expected however were losses to the weakest opposition in the group in Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp, who beat them 3-2 on Wednesday to usher in talk of a crisis.

In times of general financial hardship and debt, Barca badly needed the $3.07 million (€2.8 million) offered in prize money per win as detailed by official UEFA figures.

But as Mundo Deportivo points out on Friday, the Catalans’ losses in Hamburg, where Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar plays their European games, and Belgium could have greater repercussions beyond 2023/2024.

This is because Barca’s place in the 2025 Club World Cup is now in jeopardy and they are currently in a direct battle with domestic rivals Atletico Madrid for a berth in the tournament which takes place in the United States in the summer of said year.

As recent winners of the Champions League, Chelsea, Manchester City and the two Spanish clubs’ eternal rivals Real Madrid already have their tickets booked for the re-imagined competition with $109.5 million (€100 million) on the line for whoever goes all the way.

But Barca now need to win as many games as possible in the current edition of the elite European tournament and hope that Atleti don’t go further than them.

At present, they lead Diego Simeone’s men by two points (62 points to 60) in the race for the second of two places offered to Spain.

This lead has been earned through five points per participation in the last four seasons of the Champions League then three per win and one per draw by FIFA rules.

But if the criterion were to follow UEFA’s standards, Barca would trail Atletico by 62 to 55 if there were four points per participation, two for a win, one for a draw, five for making the last 16 and one for reaching the quarter finals, semis and final.

What could cost Barca are two back-to-back failures to qualify out of the group. But it is at a council meeting on Sunday that FIFA is expected to decide the criterion that grants passage to the 2025 spectacle, which comes a year before the FIFA World Cup also held in the US alongside Canada and Mexico.

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