Monday 13 May 2024, 14:15

Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™ place in sight for River Plate

  • River Plate need to avoid defeat in upcoming CONMEBOL Libertadores group stage game to reach FIFA Club World Cup 2025™

  • Buenos Aires giants looking to join Brazilian trio of former South American champions at the 32-team tournament in the United States next year

  • Yokohama F. Marinos edge towards qualification with slender AFC Champions League final first-leg advantage

River Plate are within 90 minutes of clinching a place at the inaugural Mundial de Clubes FIFA™ (FIFA Club World Cup 2025™) as the Argentine giants continue their CONMEBOL Libertadores challenge, while Yokohama F. Marinos have the edge in the race to claim the fourth and final qualifying place from Asia.

Overview: South America

  • 6 places available, 3 teams already qualified

  • Continental champions: Palmeiras (BRA), Flamengo (BRA), Fluminense (BRA)

  • Can qualify as 2024 Champions (27 clubs) – 1 spot: Atlético Mineiro (BRA), River Plate (ARG), Nacional (URU), Independiente del Valle (ECU), Cerro Porteño (PAR), Talleres (ARG), Bolívar (BOL), The Strongest (BOL), São Paulo (BRA), Estudiantes (ARG), Libertad (PAR), Deportivo Táchira (VEN), Colo-Colo (CHI), Peñarol (URU), Junior (COL), LDU Quito (ECU), Alianza Lima (PER), Universitario (PER), Liverpool (URU), Caracas (VEN), Botafogo (BRA), Palestino (CHI), Huachipato (CHI), Rosario Central (ARG), San Lorenzo (ARG), Grêmio (BRA), Millonarios (COL)

  • Can qualify via Ranking (13 clubs) – 2 spots (3 spots if Palmeiras, Flamengo or Fluminense are 2024 champions): River Plate, Boca Juniors (ARG), Club Olimpia (PAR), Nacional, Independiente del Valle, Cerro Porteño, Talleres, Bolívar, The Strongest, Estudiantes, Libertad, Deportivo Táchira, Colo-Colo

  • Currently in position to qualify via rankings: River Plate (77 pts), Boca Juniors (71), Olimpia* (57) *If a third qualifying spot via the rankings pathway becomes available (see below)

River go into their fifth game of the group stage on Tuesday knowing they will secure their FIFA Club World Cup 2025 place if they win or draw against Paraguayan opponents Libertad. Even if the Buenos Aires club were to lose, anything but a win for Uruguayan rivals Nacional at Deportivo Táchira (VEN) the following day would send River through too. As Nacional play Libertad in the final round of group games, it means both teams cannot prevent River pocketing the FIFA Club World Cup 2025 qualifying points for progressing to the CONMEBOL Libertadores knockout stages.

Miguel Borja of River Plate fights for the ball with Mateo Antoni, of Nacional

As things stand ahead of Matchday 5, other South American teams still have the opportunity to be one of the 32 clubs at the inaugural tournament in the United States next year. A maximum 37 points are now available to non-champions: 12 by reaching the various knockout phase rounds, 25 in matches.

This means:

  • All non-Brazilian teams still in the competition currently with 20 points or more can qualify via the ranking BUT ONLY if one of the Brazilian trio of former champions, Palmeiras, Flamengo or Fluminense, win the 2024 Libertadores. This would open up a third rankings pathway spot, and teams could overtake Club Olimpia (PAR, 57 points), who are not in this season’s CONMEBOL Libertadores.

  • All non-Brazilian teams with 34 points or more can overtake Boca Juniors (ARG, 71 points), who are not active this season, for the guaranteed second qualifying spot.

  • All non-Brazilian teams with 40 points or more can still overtake River Plate (ARG, 77 points), who are active this season.


Yokohama F. Marinos (JPN) edged towards winning the 2023/24 AFC Champions League and securing a place at the FIFA World Cup 2025 as this year’s Asian champions thanks to a 2-1 first-leg win at home in the final over Al Ain (UAE) in Japan. If Yokohama lift the trophy, it will be the club’s first continental crown. Al Ain won their only Asian title to date in 2003.

Anderson Lopes of Yokohama F.Marinos and Khalid Al-Hashemi of Al Ain compete for the ball

Whichever team wins the 2023/24 title, they will take the last of Asia’s four slots for the tournament. The other three are filled by: Al Hilal (KSA, 2021 AFC Champions League winners), Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN, 2022 AFC Champions League winners) and Ulsan HD (KOR, via the ranking pathway) The second leg will be played in the United Arab Emirates on 25 May.