Gulf Today

Juve advance to ’25 Club WC from Italy after Napoli exit CL


GENEVA: Banned by UEFA from European competitio­ns this season for breaking financial rules, Juventus still qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup on Tuesday when Napoli went out of the Champions League.

Barcelona beat Napoli 3-1 in the second leg of the round of 16 to seal a 4-2 win on aggregate score that ensured Juventus advanced through a European ranking system to the revamped FIFA event.

Juventus is the 21st team to qualify for the inaugural 32-team edition of the Club World Cup that will be played in the US in June-july 2025 by the continenta­l champions from 2021 through 2024 plus other high-ranked teams from those competitio­ns.

Juventus advanced one day ater their former player Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr fell out of contention on being eliminated in the Asian Champions League quarter-finals.

Barcelona is still not sure to be among Europe’s 12 entries because it trails Spanish rival Atletico Madrid in the European rankings.

Champions League winners in the four-year period - Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City so far - will be joined by eight or nine teams finishing highest in a table counting all results in the competitio­n. Countries also are limited to two entries unless they have more than two winners of the continenta­l title.

Inter Milan, which reached the Champions League final last season, already secured its Club World Cup place by ranking and Napoli’s exit Tuesday ensured Juventus cannot be overtaken as the second-best Italian team.

Juventus reached the Champions League round of 16 twice in the four-year span and also played in the group stage last season. It is currently No. 14 in the European ranking table though behind three teams from each of England, Germany and Spain which will reach their quota.

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