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Barcelona's Champions League exit sends Atletico to Club World Cup

David Ramos / Getty Images Sport / Getty

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ZURICH (AP) — Barcelona’s exit from the Champions League on Tuesday sent Atletico Madrid to the inaugural 32-team Club World Cup in the United States next year.

Europe will have 12 teams at the lucrative monthlong tournament — title winners of the Champions League in the four seasons through this one plus high-ranked teams based on overall results in the competition in this period.

Barcelona began play Tuesday trailing Atletico in the rankings to take the second Club World Cup entry from Spain and lost 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in the home leg of their quarterfinals. Barcelona was eliminated 6-4 on aggregate score.

Atletico also was eliminated from the Champions League losing 4-2 at Borussia Dortmund, and 5-4 on aggregate, but its Club World Cup place is secure.

Atletico is the 22nd team to qualify for the inaugural 32-team edition of the Club World Cup that will be played in cities across the U.S. from June 15-July 13 next year. The expanded format will be played every four years instead of annually.

FIFA expects to pay tens of millions of dollars in prize money to each team at a tournament that will be without European powers like Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and AC Milan. Also missing will be Lionel Messi’s current club Inter Miami and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.

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