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Arsenal miss out on new FIFA tournament after Champions League exit

Arsenal will miss out on the new expanded FIFA competition following their exit from the Champions League against Bayern Munich

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta v Fulham
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Arsenal suffered a big blow in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday and consequently ruling them out of contention for the 2025 Club World Cup.

The crucial moment came in the 63rd minute when Joshua Kimmich’s header secured a victory for the Bundesliga giants, propelling them into the semi-finals of Europe’s premier competition. Despite their best efforts, the Gunners couldn’t breach Manuel Neuer’s defences, leading to the end of their European aspirations at the Allianz Arena. This setback followed closely on the heels of their defeat to Aston Villa, denting their hopes for a Premier League title.

Mikel Arteta’s squad had entered the showdown in Germany on equal footing, buoyed by a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium just over a week prior. The Arsenal manager had rallied his team to rewrite their European history, but unfortunately, their ambitions fell short.

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The defeat not only spelled the end of Arsenal’s European campaign but also confirmed their absence from the 2025 Club World Cup, making them the final European side to miss out on the prestigious tournament. Joining them in this regard are other European powerhouses such as Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool, and AC Milan.

The expanded format of the Club World Cup, slated to be held across the United States in June and July 2025, features 32 teams from six confederations.

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Notably, previous Champions League winners from 2021 to 2023 secured automatic berths, including Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City. Performance in recent Champions League seasons also earned spots for teams like Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Inter Milan. Additionally, Atletico Madrid clinched qualification following Barcelona’s elimination from this year’s competition.

Arsenal’s only route to securing a guaranteed spot in the US was by winning the Champions League, a feat they couldn’t accomplish. Consequently, FC Salzburg’s performance has been rewarded despite being ranked below more illustrious clubs like Liverpool, Barcelona, and AC Milan.

The Club World Cup will also feature teams from various regions, with Brazil’s dominance in the Copa Libertadores securing spots for Flamengo, Palmeiras, and Fluminense. CONCACAF will be represented by Seattle Sounders, Club Leon, and Monterrey, while Asia will see Al Hilal and Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds in contention. African giants Al Ahly and Wydad, alongside New Zealand’s Auckland City, complete the lineup, with nine more teams set to qualify for the tournament.

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