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BVB against RB: duel for ticket to Club World Cup

Children hold a banner with the inscription "FIFA". / Photo: Mike Egerton/Press Association/dpa
Children hold a banner with the inscription "FIFA". / Photo: Mike Egerton/Press Association/dpa

Bayern Munich is in. Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig still have a chance. But only one other team from Germany will be allowed to travel to the Club World Cup in the USA in the summer of 2025. The decision will be made soon.

For Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, participation in the 2025 Club World Cup is also at stake in the knockout phase of the Champions League. The fact is: Only one other German team besides FC Bayern Munich will be taking part in the premiere of the new lucrative FIFA competition in the USA the summer after next, and Dortmund are the favorites.

In the authoritative ranking, BVB is ahead of the teams that have not yet qualified with 67 points. Leipzig follow in third place with 61 points behind Atlético Madrid (62) and ahead of FC Barcelona (55). The crux of the matter is that only two teams per country can qualify for the finals via this ranking. Bayern have already secured their ticket with 100 points.

In addition, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, FC Porto and Benfica Lisbon also already have the right to start, as do the Champions League winners of the past three years: Chelsea FC, Real Madrid and Manchester City. As Europe provides 12 of the 32 starters for the inter-continental competition, there are still four places available: one for the 2024 winners of the premier class and three via the ranking with BVB and RB.

Two points are awarded for every win in the knockout phase, one point for a draw and one point for advancing to the next round. A maximum of 17 points are therefore still up for grabs before the final on June 1 in Wembley.

An example calculation illustrates BVB's good starting position: If Dortmund lose both of their round of 16 games against PSV Eindhoven and Leipzig win both games against Real Madrid and one of the subsequent quarter-finals, RB would have made up the six-point deficit to BVB and would be in the Club World Cup. A difficult undertaking. What's more, Leipzig coach Marco Rose is not a fan of the competition.

"I personally believe that anything that comes on top of that is unacceptable in terms of the players' health. And yet we keep turning the wheel, keep turning the screw. We know that our business is very much driven by money. Accordingly, you don't have to think such things are great, but you have to go along with them. That's part of it," he said.

The tournament will take place from June 15 to July 13, 2025 with a total of 63 games in the USA. Each team will play at least three group matches and a maximum of seven games, including the final. There had already been criticism of the competition before Rose's comments due to the heavy workload for the professionals and the much shorter summer break before the upcoming World Cup season. However, the top clubs had agreed to the introduction via their association ECA and participate in the marketing.

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