FIFA President Gianni Infantino has made it known that he wants to change the World Cup format to allow more teams to compete in the event. As opposed to the current 32 teams, he would like to expand the competition to 48 countries.
It’s been more than 10 years since that infamous night in Berlin, where, in the 110th minute of Zinedine Zidane’s final professional match, the French captain was sent off for battering Marco Materazzi with his bald head.
When Jack Skellington grew tired of organizing Halloween Town’s Halloween celebration in Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, the ghost skeleton proceeded to plot and scheme over how he could take charge of Christmas as well. Unable to understand the spirit of the holiday and personally impulsive to a fault, Jack almost ruined Christmas for everyone.
The Olympics and the World Cup are arguably the two greatest sporting occasions on the planet. What makes them so special is that they only come 'round once every four years, but there are a great deal of differences among these two giant competitions.
In the grand scheme of things, the simple fact is this: the Olympic Games mean way more to athletes than the World Cup does to footballers. Now, that wasn't always the case, but over time it has certainly developed into being that way, and it isn't really a surprise.
The record for the fastest red card ever in soccer is somewhat dubious: is it limited to professionals? What about amateur leagues? Does the player actually have to play a second before being sent off? These are the kinds of ridiculous variables you must factor into determining the fastest red card ever in soccer.
According to the Guardian, there have been a number of instances when substitutes have been sent off without having ever played a second in the match.
This recent international break has proven, once again, why South America is the toughest qualifying process of any continent on the planet. On Thursday, Brazil trounced Argentina 3-0, Venezuela put up five on Bolivia and Peru handedly laid waste to Paraguay, 4-1. Then on the following Tuesday, Ecuador beat that same Venezuela team 3-0, that same Bolivia team beat Paraguay 1-0 and Argentina rebounded to shut Colombia out in a 3-0 win.
When Jurgen Klinsmann was first appointed USMNT boss five years ago, people expected him to come over and shake things up. It was widely understood that he was not some kind of miracle worker, however, there was a clear expectation that his pedigree would motivate players and that he’d introduce a stylish flair into the team by nurturing the next generation — undoubtedly the most talented crop of footballers this country had ever seen.