Brazil’s Flamengo beat countrymen Club Athletico Paranaense 1-0 in the Copa Libertadores final on Saturday to qualify for the 2022 Club World Cup. Flamengo are the fifth team to earn a spot in the tournament, leaving the Asian confederation and host nation representatives undecided to fill out the seven-team bracket.
Flamengo is generally considered the biggest club in Brazil and its most popular. This was their third Copa Libertadores title and they’ve won Brazil’s Serie A seven times. They are likely to be the most represented Brazilian team in the Qatar World Cup.
Flamengo join the Seattle Sounders (Concacaf), Real Madrid (UEFA), Morocco’s Wydad AC (Africa) and New Zealand’s Auckland City (Oceania). It remains unclear who will represent Asia as their champions league winner isn’t due to be decided until Feb. 26, after most seem to think the Club World Cup will take place.
Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds have qualified for the final from the eastern region of the AFC Champions League, but the western region isn’t scheduled to begin the Round of 16 until Feb. 3.
Who represents Asia in the tournament is not even the biggest question at this point, however, as there is still no date or location decided. Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey recently said he still expects the tournament to be played in early February, and there was some reporting that suggested it might be played in the United States, but the latest speculation suggests it could be played in Abu Dhabi. The last five tournaments have been played in the Middle East and you’d have to go back to 2014 to find the last time it was played outside of the Asian confederation.
Where the tournament is played will also impact the final team. Traditionally the host nation has a spot reserved for them but if it’s in the United States CCL runners-up Pumas UNAM since two teams from the same country aren’t usually admitted.