How Lionel Messi Can Still Reach Club World Cup Despite Inter Miami's Champions Cup Elimination

How Lionel Messi Can Still Reach Club World Cup Despite Inter Miami's Champions Cup Elimination

Martin Moses
updated at April 15, 2024 at 7:09 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Inter Miami CF logo
Club Internacional de Futbol Miami
United States
Monterrey logo
Rayados de Monterrey
CONCACAF Champions League logo
CONCACAF Champions League
FIFA Club World Cup logo
FIFA Club World Cup
  • Lionel Messi's Inter Miami were knocked out of the Concacaf Champions Cup on April 11
  • The loss to Monterrey saw them lose their direct ticket to the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup
  • However, as Sports Brief explains, all hope is not lost for the David Beckham-owned side

Lionel Messi suffered a huge blow in his pursuit of leading Inter Miami to another silverware after Monterrey dumped them out of the CONCACAF Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

The Liga MX side beat Inter Miami 5-2 over two legs, with the second leg happening on April 11. Despite recovering from a muscle injury to start the game, Messi did little to inspire a possible comeback.

Lionel Messi, CONCACAF Champions Cup, 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, Inter Miami, Monterrey
Lionel Messi walks off the pitch after Inter Miami's loss to Monterrey on April 11, 2024. Photo by Hector Vivas.
Source: Getty Images

The loss will have ripple effects, given that the Cup winner would have earned a direct ticket to the 2025 Club World Cup.

How Messi can still qualify for Club World Cup

With Inter Miami now out of the running via the Champions Cup route, does it mean Messi won't feature at the Club World Cup? Well, not conclusively.

FIFA announced last year that it had revamped the Club World Cup format, starting with a 32-team tournament in 2025. The competition will now be held every four years. The United States of America was selected as the inaugural host of the new format.

Of the 32 teams, the USA will produce one as the host nation. The criteria for choosing which team will represent the USA is not yet known, but Inter Miami will be hoping to ride on the Messi wave to get that ticket.

There is no doubt that the record Ballon d'Or winner is the face of the league and his participation could increase fans' interest in the games. He won three Club World Cups during his glorious spell at Barcelona.

FIFA Club World Cup new format explained

In the detailed format as captured on FIFA's website, UEFA will present 12 teams for the competition, four of which are the Champions League winners of 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. The other eight teams will be selected based on club coefficients over the four years.

CONMEBOL(South America) will have six teams - four being the winners of the Copa Libertadores between 2021 and 2024, and the other two will be selected based on club ranking.

The CONCACAF region, where Messi is, will have four participants—the winners of the Champions Cup of the last four years, the same as CAF(Africa) and AFC(Asia). The OFC(Oceania region) will have only the highest-ranked club of its last four Champions League winners representing it.

If a club has won two or more of the premier cup competitions in a region within the targeted timeframe, a new club based on ranking will be given the opportunity.

The competition will take place in June.

Messi taunted with Ronaldo chants

Sports Brief has also reported that Messi was taunted by Cristiano Ronaldo chants during Inter Miami's game against Monterrey.

The Argentine veteran made his first start since returning from injury, with his only goal involvement coming late in that game.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)