Europa League success guarantees entry to new version of the tournament that begins in the summer of 2021
2018-19 UEFA Europa League champions.
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
It’s not even been 24 hours since Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 in Baku, Azerbaijan and fans, players, the club even are already looking towards the future. That being more European silverware.
And the next chance of picking up European silverware will be on August 14th as Chelsea face either Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Super Cup, at the Vodafone Park in Istanbul, Turkey, home of the Süper Lig side Beşiktaş.
But if we look even further into the future, there is another piece of silverware that Chelsea can already plan for to hopefully get.
The FIFA Club World Cup.
Before anyone says ‘you have to win the Champions League to compete for that’, I’ll explain as to why Chelsea can win it.
HOW CAN CHELSEA BE INVOLVED?
In it’s current format – the only teams that compete for the trophy are the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations, as well as the national league champion from the host country. So the winners of the UEFA Champions League, the CONEMBOL Copa Libertadores and so on.
But that’s about to change soon. Back in March, FIFA approved a revised 24-team Club World Cup and will run every four years and take place from June to July in the slot currently used for the World Cup warm-up event, the Confederations Cup.
The initial version of the revamped tournament will supposedly run from June 17th to July 4th 2021 – believed to be in Qatar – with each club reportedly earning a minimum of £50m for just taking part, with that figure rising to £100m depending on how far clubs progress in the tournament.
“Now the world will see a real Club World Cup where fans will see the best teams in the world compete to be crowned the real world champions.”– FIFA President Gianni Infantino on his plan being approved
WHAT TEAMS WILL BE INVOLVED?
So where does Chelsea come into this? The ‘new’ tournament would include the following teams:
• UEFA Champions League winners
• UEFA Champions League runners-up
• UEFA Europa League winners
• UEFA Europa League runners-up
• CONEMBOL Copa Libertadores winners
• Remainder of teams qualifying from the other four confederations (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, OFC)
And in terms of what specific teams are eligible, the tournament will consist of teams from the four seasons up to and including the year of the event – so the 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 & 2020-21 seasons.
So if we go by this, here are (currently) the teams that will be involved in the tournament:
• Real Madrid (2017-18 UEFA Champions League Winners)
• Liverpool (2017-18 UEFA Champions League Runner-up, 2018-19 UEFA Champions League*)
• Tottenham Hotspur (2018-19 UEFA Champions League*)
• Atlético Madrid (2017-18 UEFA Europa League Winners)
• Olympique de Marseille (2017-18 UEFA Europa League Runners-up)
• Chelsea (2018-19 UEFA Europa League Winners)
• Arsenal (2018-19 UEFA Europa League Runners-up)
• Grêmio (2017 CONEMBOL Copa Libertadores winners)
• River Plate (2018 CONEMBOL Copa Libertadores winners)
*The winner/runner-up is still not determined
The remaining fifteen teams to qualify for the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup will be determined over the two seasons (2019-20 & 2020-21).
After our heartbreak in 2012 when we lost 1-0 to Brazilian side Corinthians in Yokohama, Japan, here’s hoping the Blues have better luck in two years time.