What the Club Planet Cup would have looked like final summer season with 32 teams

FIFA has significant plans for the Club Planet Cup and this week authorized plans for an expanded tournament beginning in 2025, with Chelsea and Genuine Madrid handed automatic qualification spots for it regardless of benefits for the rest of this season, in the subsequent 1 and even the 1 following that.

Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s president, is determined to raise the profile of a substantially-maligned competitors — and in the course of action fill his organisation’s coffers even additional.

In his opinion, the Club Planet Cup has as well usually been a procession in current seasons. Every single year’s Champions League winners go into the seven-group tournament the following winter as overwhelming favourites, win a semi-final,  play in the final and additional usually than not come away with the trophy.

He desires to shake issues up and from 2025 the tournament could see 32 clubs competing in a revamped competitors which would take location, as with the European Championship and Planet Cup for national teams, each 4 years.

But what would that tournament appear like? And how would it perform?

We have imagined what the 2022 Club Planet Cup would have looked like had these adjustments been authorized 4 years ago, alternatively of this week — so it could have been played in final year’s national-group-tournament-totally free (for the men’s game anyway) summer season alternatively of the February.


Chelsea, Genuine Madrid get spots at expanded Club Planet Cup

What has just been announced and who is in?

What was after a seven-group tournament has been expanded to involve 32 clubs.

The new format was initially set to be introduced in 2021 but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed these plans and led to FIFA continuing its regular, brief and sweet version.

But Infantino was defiant in his hunt for higher exposure — and higher income — so now the wheels are firmly in motion to convert his grand concept into reality.

On Tuesday, at the FIFA congress in Rwanda, it was announced that the plans for a 32-group Club Planet Cup had been authorized.

For the inaugural 2025 tournament, nine of these 32 areas are currently spoken for. The following teams will be joined by 23 other individuals:

What are the guidelines for the expanded tournament?

Firstly, the 32 areas will be divided across the six confederations as follows:

  • UEFA (Europe) — 12
  • CONMEBOL (South America) — six
  • AFC (Asia) — 4
  • CAF (Africa) — 4
  • CONCACAF (North America) — 4
  • OFC (Oceania) — 1
  • Host nation — 1

These 32 teams will be separated into 4 groups of eight, as has been the norm at international Planet Cups considering that 1998 — while that will be changed in 2026…

This version of the Club Planet Cup will be played only each 4 years — 1st in 2025 (the summer season involving the subsequent Euros and Planet Cup), then in 2029 and so on. That does not imply its curtains for the existing seven-group 1, even though — it’ll nevertheless be played annually but is going to have to be offered a new name. Probably a return of the Intercontinental Cup, which is what the Club Planet Cup was known as from its founding in 1960 till it was rebranded in 2004.

The new-appear Club Planet Cup will take the location in the calendar of the Confederations Cup — a now-abolished national-group tournament which usually served as a practice occasion for bigger tournaments. Involving 2005 and 2017, it was played each 4 years and was properly a dry run for host nations about to stage a Planet Cup.

FIFA chief Gianni Infantino desires to revolutionise planet football… once more (Photo: Getty Photos)

With every of the tournaments in that 12-year period getting been played in the identical nations as the succeeding Planet Cup, it is most likely the 2025 Club Planet Cup will be played across the US, Canada and Mexico. For our purposes that indicates there will be a host nation spot offered for 1 CONCACAF club, providing that federation 5 of the 32 teams.

That group will be joined by continental champions from about the planet, as effectively as other sides who will qualify due to their ranking.

In 2025, there will be additional ranking areas awarded mainly because the pandemic has adversely impacted the 2021-25 qualifying period.

Right here is how the areas will be allocated for the 2025 tournament.

  • UEFA (12) — The 4 most current UEFA Champions League winners, and the eight most effective-eligible teams in UEFA’s 4-year ranking
  • CONMEBOL (six) — The 4 most current Copa Libertadores winners and the two most effective-eligible teams in CONMEBOL’s 4-year ranking
  • AFC (four) — The 3 most current AFC Champions League winners and the most effective-eligible group in AFC’s 4-year ranking
  • CAF (four) — The winners of the CAF Champions League in 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24, and the winners of the inaugural 2023-24 African Super League
  • CONCACAF (four) — The 4 most current CONCACAF Champions League winners
  • OFC (1) — Finest OFC Champions League winners from OFC’s 4-year ranking
  • Host nation (1) — Decided by the host nation’s confederation (most likely to be CONCACAF)

Our (hypothetical) 2022 Club Planet Cup entrants

Here’s exactly where the enjoyable begins.

Employing the above recommendations for areas for a hypothetical summer season 2022 tournament, right here are the clubs who would have certified, to give you some concept of how the new tournament will function.

  • UEFA — Genuine Madrid (Spain), Chelsea (England), Bayern Munich (Germany), Liverpool (England), Manchester City (England), Paris Saint-Germain (France), Juventus (Italy), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Manchester United (England), Tottenham Hotspur (England), Porto (Portugal)
  • CONMEBOL — Palmeiras (Brazil), Flamengo (Brazil), River Plate (Argentina), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Gremio (Brazil), Athletico Paranaense (Brazil)
  • AFC — Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia), Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (South Korea), Persepolis (Iran)
  • CAF — Wydad AC (Morocco), Al Ahly (Egypt), Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
  • CONCACAF — Seattle Sounders (USA), Monterrey (Mexico), Tigres UANL (Mexico), Club America (Mexico)
  • OFC — Auckland City (New Zealand)
  • Host nation — New York City (primarily based on CONCACAF hosting this Club Planet Cup — NYCFC had been the reigning MLS champions in summer season 2022)

The draw

These 32 teams would then have to have to be placed into 4 pots just before becoming drawn into groups.

As with most tournaments, the hosts would take the 1st spot in Pot 1 and, for this exercising, they would be joined by a ‘champions pot’, comprised of the 4 UEFA Champions League winners and the 3 Copa Libertadores winners.

We have applied FiveThirtyEight’s respected Soccer Energy Index (SPI) ratings to figure out how the rest of our hypothetical pots are seeded. SPI ratings estimate a team’s general strength involving zero and one hundred, working with difficulty-adjusted match benefits and underlying efficiency metrics to model a team’s offensive and defensive strength.

  • Pot 1: New York City, Genuine Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Palmeiras, Flamengo, River Plate
  • Pot two: Manchester City, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Porto, Juventus
  • Pot three: Boca Juniors, Gremio, Athletico Paranaense, Wydad AC, Al Ahly, Esperance de Tunis, Mamelodi Sundowns, Al-Hilal
  • Pot four: Ulsan Hyundai, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Persepolis, Seattle Sounders, Monterrey, Tigres UANL, Club America, Auckland City

1 group would be drawn from every pot to make up the eight groups. A rapid simulation drafted these as the groups:

  • Group A: New York City, Atletico Madrid, Al Ahly, Tigres UANL
  • Group B: Liverpool, Porto, Gremio, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
  • Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Mamelodi Sundowns, Seattle Sounders
  • Group D: Palmeiras, Paris Saint-Germain, Al-Hilal, Monterrey
  • Group E: Genuine Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Wydad AC, Persepolis
  • Group F: River Plate, Juventus, Boca Juniors, Auckland City
  • Group G: Flamengo, Manchester City, Athletico Paranaense, Club America
  • Group H: Chelsea, Manchester United, Esperance de Tunis, Ulsan Hyundai

As you may perhaps have realised from seeking at the groups, it is really hard to think about the Club Planet Cup becoming something other than a diluted version of the UEFA Champions League.

Of the above groups, the only European club who would seem below genuine threat of creating a group-stage exit by not finishing 1st or second are Juventus, as they are in with bitter Buenos Aires-primarily based rivals Boca and River.

Would Juventus struggle against Boca and River? (Photo: Getty Photos)

Infantino hopes that a competitors such as this will lift the efficiency levels of the worldwide game, in light of the domination by European club and international sides.

But only time will inform whether or not UEFA’s esteemed member clubs in fact do come below siege from their rivals about the planet or just take slightly longer to show them practically nothing has changed.

(Photo: Getty Photos)

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