It’s June 2004, and England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has just confirmed his squad for EURO 2004 in Portugal. The 23-man team is highlighted by 18-year-old Everton sensation Wayne Rooney. Aston Villa forward Darius Vassell, although an injury doubt, has been named in the squad at the expense of 21-year-old Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe.
FIFA Men's World Cup
USMNT manager Bruce Arena has announced his 24-man squad for vital World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama at the end of March. This represented the first opportunity for Arena to include European-based talent, but it’s clear that he’s also given a fair shake to the MLS players that impressed during January camp.
Brazil will travel to Montevideo, Uruguay for a clash between the top two sides in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying without David Luiz, the Chelsea center half and captain of Brazil’s 7-1 capitulation to Germany once again omitted from Tite’s latest squad announcement.
Luiz has been in great form for club this season, helping Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table with a defense that’s allowed only 19 goals in 26 matches. However, Luiz hasn’t appeared for Brazil since last March, and Tite has ignored him since being placed in charge of the Seleção last June.
Remember Ronaldo's really bad haircut at the 2002 World Cup? The one he would have never lived down if Brazil hadn't won the tournament and if he hadn't won the Golden Boot with eight goals? Apparently there was a reason for it.
Here's what Ronaldo told ESPN Brazil:
Zenit Arena, which will be called Saint Petersburg Stadium during the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup, has finally hosted its first event after beginning construction in 2007.
Qatar, the small country on the Arabian Peninsula with a population less than that of Nevada, is spending almost half a billion dollars per week in preparation for the 2022 World Cup according to the country’s finance minister.
As reported by World Soccer’s Jamie Rainbow, this will amount to more than $200 billion by the time the tournament rolls around.
More than two years after the 2014 World Cup, the excess of $3 billion spent on building new stadiums and renovating existing ones across Brazil is looking more and more like an unmitigated disaster. With the government unable to pay teachers, medical personnel and pensions, the extreme costs of up keeping these gargantuan white elephants are rightly the last thing on the country's priority list.
FIFA Technical Director Looking At Abolishing Offside, Hockey-Style Shootouts, Four Quarters And Orange Cards
Everyone, in lazy idleness, allows their mind to drift. You might start thinking about what a cat’s face might look like on the body of an elephant or if we had arms where our legs should be and legs for arms. The mind just wanders into strange territory.
After FIFA’s decision to increase the number of participants at the 2026 World Cup to 48 nations, a lot of questions arose with regards to the qualifying process for that particular tournament. How would the 16 extra places be rationed? Which federations would benefit most? How would this impact the quality of the qualifiers themselves and, ultimately, teams preparations for the finals?
The FIFA World Cup is set to undergo its first expansion since the current format of 32 teams was employed at the 1998 World Cup in France. The 2026 World Cup, as unanimously approved by members of the FIFA Council on Tuesday, will feature 48 teams.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will stick to the 32-team format, meaning that the expanded tournament will likely make its debut in the CONCACAF region come 2026.