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Manchester City handed shock boost as key rival threaten to boycott 2025 FIFA Club World Cup



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Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have been handed an unexpected boost ahead of the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup in the United States.

Manchester City, who are current World Champions after success at the 2023 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia in December, will travel to the United States next summer to compete in an expanded version of the tournament.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be part of a 32-team edition of the FIFA Club World Cup next summer, with the competition taking place across June and July, involving teams from six different associations.

The Sky Blues qualified for the tournament with UEFA Champions League success in June 2023, beating Inter Milan in Istanbul 1-0 to be rewarded one of the 32 places at next summer’s inaugural competition.

Manchester City are expected to be joined by Premier League rivals Chelsea, alongside other European heavyweights such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, Porto, Benfica, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and FC Salzburg.

Urawa Red Diamonds and Fluminense have also been announced as participants, with Manchester City having beaten both teams as part of their triumphant Club World Cup campaign in the Middle East last year.

Guardiola’s side will face fierce competition to win the expanded version of the tournament, but could have been handed an unexpected boost, after Real Madrid threatened to boycott to Club World Cup in the US next year.

“Real Madrid will not go to the FIFA World Club, we will reject the invitation like other clubs,” said manager Carlo Ancelotti.

“Just one single Real Madrid match is worth €20m and they want to give us that money for the whole competition… no way. Negative,” the Italian continued.

Manchester City have been involved in some epic recent clashes with the La Liga giants, meeting eight times in the past four years in the knock-out stages of the European competition.

Real Madrid beat the Blues on penalties at the Etihad Stadium this season, meanwhile Manchester City beat the Spanish side as part of their maiden Champions League triumph last year.