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2026 World Cup Thread.

shizzle787

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So 6 teams instead of 4? I suppose that's great news for Panama, etc. Or is it more just due to expansion?
Due to more expansion. There are actually 6.5 spots - 3 hosts = 3.5 spots remaining for the rest of CONCACAF. The fourth team in qualifying would go into the inter-confederation playoffs.
 

HuskyHawk

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Due to more expansion. There are actually 6.5 spots - 3 hosts = 3.5 spots remaining for the rest of CONCACAF. The fourth team in qualifying would go into the inter-confederation playoffs.
Well we have no excuse for ever missing a WC again if that's the case. There aren't 6 good teams in CONCACAF.
 

shizzle787

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Well we have no excuse for ever missing a WC again if that's the case. There aren't 6 good teams in CONCACAF.
That's kind of the point. FIFA expanded the WC for votes- from Africa, N. America, Asia, and Oceania. Oceania now gets 1.5 spots so New Zealand will qualify almost every time by default.
 

SubbaBub

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US, Mexico, and Canada were qualifying anyway in an expanded field. Expansion is being driven be three things.

1. Money
2. Access for more countries. There are more soccer playing nations now. Heck, there are more countries now.
3. Support for the current FIFA leadership from nations that want a chance at making the WC they usually don't come close, which is most nations. FIFA votes are one per country.
 
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US, Mexico, and Canada were qualifying anyway in an expanded field. Expansion is being driven be three things.

1. Money
2. Access for more countries. There are more soccer playing nations now. Heck, there are more countries now.
3. Support for the current FIFA leadership from nations that want a chance at making the WC they usually don't come close, which is most nations. FIFA votes are one per country.
This is all good though, right? Being the most popular sport in the world, spread the wealth a bit more...You've got your Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, Italy...they're like the P2 of soccer. Speaking of which, what is going on with the Azzurri?
 
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They won the Euros 2 years ago. Couldn't beat North Macedonia in WC qualification and paid the price
 
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Fascinated to see what the format will be with 48 teams - don't love the early rumors of 16 groups of 3 with the top 2 moving on into a round of 32. In regard to the MNT coach, all I can say is that no manager should be in charge for more than 1 WC cycle.
16 groups of 3 make so little sense. It would be a return to the disaster that happened before the field of 32 took place, when it was just 24 teams, and teams would collude in the 3rd game to help each other out while leaving someone else out (Germany/Austria did it to leave out Algeria as the most famous example).

Just make it 12 groups of 4. Top 2 teams in each group advance and the 8 best 3rd place teams for 32. Or, just have the 12 first-place teams and the 4 best 2nd place for 16.

I mean, 48 will be watered down even more than what we have now. Just look at that 6-1 beatdown yesterday (Switzerland v Portugal or Spain beating Costa Rica 7-1 or Brazil/S. Korea) and adding 16 more teams is just going to make those more frequent. In most years, is the next best Asian, Oceania, or Concaf team really going to do anything of interest or perform better than the Asian, Oceania, or Concaf teams already playing? I mean other than just being punching bags? Yes, those extra 16 will sometimes include good teams that were left out like Italy, Chile, Colombia, and Nigeria, and a few others who may very well have done something this year had it been made of 48 teams, but you are also including a lot of lesser-quality teams and I am not sure adding 10-12 extra bad teams makes up for the fact that 4-6 might be legit good.
 

ColchVEGAS

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This is all good though, right? Being the most popular sport in the world, spread the wealth a bit more...You've got your Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, Italy...they're like the P2 of soccer. Speaking of which, what is going on with the Azzurri?

The Azzurri are fine. They went through a revamping of the team and won the Euros. Lost some guys due to injury and just could not dig themselves out of the hole to qualify. With that said only one of Portugal or Italy would have qualified if Italy did not lose to North Macedonia in qualifications. Italy should be back in the WC for 2026, they have a ton of younger talent currently, but by 2026 they should be very well seasoned and potentially on their last go round as a team unit.
 
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The Azzurri are fine. They went through a revamping of the team and won the Euros. Lost some guys due to injury and just could not dig themselves out of the hole to qualify. With that said only one of Portugal or Italy would have qualified if Italy did not lose to North Macedonia in qualifications. Italy should be back in the WC for 2026, they have a ton of younger talent currently, but by 2026 they should be very well seasoned and potentially on their last go round as a team unit.
I was traveling in Italy I think it was 1995 and I got to see Batistuta play for Fiorentina. At night they would show Juventus, Roberto Baggio was playing. There was some big dude with gray hair on the team that was a scorer, by googling Juventus I think it was Fabrizio Ravanelli. I remember thinking cool, I get to watch Baggio but this guy was doing the scoring.
Yes, this must be the guy.

 

SubbaBub

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16 groups of 3 make so little sense. It would be a return to the disaster that happened before the field of 32 took place, when it was just 24 teams, and teams would collude in the 3rd game to help each other out while leaving someone else out (Germany/Austria did it to leave out Algeria as the most famous example).

Just make it 12 groups of 4. Top 2 teams in each group advance and the 8 best 3rd place teams for 32. Or, just have the 12 first-place teams and the 4 best 2nd place for 16.

I mean, 48 will be watered down even more than what we have now. Just look at that 6-1 beatdown yesterday (Switzerland v Portugal or Spain beating Costa Rica 7-1 or Brazil/S. Korea) and adding 16 more teams is just going to make those more frequent. In most years, is the next best Asian, Oceania, or Concaf team really going to do anything of interest or perform better than the Asian, Oceania, or Concaf teams already playing? I mean other than just being punching bags? Yes, those extra 16 will sometimes include good teams that were left out like Italy, Chile, Colombia, and Nigeria, and a few others who may very well have done something this year had it been made of 48 teams, but you are also including a lot of lesser-quality teams and I am not sure adding 10-12 extra bad teams makes up for the fact that 4-6 might be legit good.

12 groups of 4 makes the most sense to me if you eliminate the rd of 32 knockout.

Another discussion is two groups of 24 (6x4) per side. Take the top 2 plus next 4 best for two brackets of 16 then merge for the final 8 or final 4.

If you want to keep the 16x3 so the winner plays a max seven games then you have to add extra time and penalty kicks to the group stage matches so there can't be any shenanigans in the final game of the group. The suggestion of a pre-group penalty round is stupid.

If Team A ties Team B
And Team A loses to Team C
Then Teams B and C can advance with a simple draw.

If you force an outcome in game 1 then either Team A has zero and is out or Team B needs a win to advance and C a point to win the group.

The worse scenario is all three matches end in draws so the final pair can just trade goals until the both advance on total goal for.
 

shizzle787

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I believe they will settle on the two 24-team tournaments format with the two winners meeting in the final.

Pros:
You can't have a group stage rematch in the final.
Both sides of the bracket should be of equivalent quality (contrary to current Euro format).
Easier to schedule so that teams don't have weird layoffs (6 days) compared to others (4 days).

Cons:
You could have a group stage rematch in the semifinal.

They mentioned completing the tournament in 38 days.

Days 1-18: Group stage (4 matches per day)
Days 19-22: Round of 32 (4 matches per day)
Days 23-26: Round of 16 (2 matches per day)
Days 27-28: Off
Days 29-30: Quarterfinals (2 matches per day)
Days 31-32: Off
Day 33: Semifinal #1
Day 34: Semifinal #2
Days 35-36: Off
Day 37: Third place playoff
Day 38: Final
 
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Some young men I know are really into soccer and they use this site to purchase mystery kits. Thought some folks would be interested.

 

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