World Cup

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about the World Cup, the best international tournament in world football.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Scotland Reach Euro 2020 Tournament

For the first time since 1998, Scotland are in a major finals after surviving a nerve-shredding win on penalties against Serbia.

Scotland, as they are prone to do, took the difficult route to the Euros, winning the play-off semi-final against Israel, and the play-off final against Serbia on penalties. Scotland scored all ten kicks!

This will not be Scotland’s first trip to the Euro’s, but despite recording some memorable victories in EURO qualification, the Tartan Army have managed to reach the group stage just twice.

World Cup

US Soccer Releases 2022 World Cup Qualifying Schedule

USA World Cup Qualifying Tickets

The U.S. Men’s National Team will begin its road to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in June 2021 away to an undetermined opponent.

We have been developing this group for more than a year to get ready for World Cup Qualifying, and now we know the path ahead,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said.

“This campaign presents some unique challenges, so the message is to be prepared for the unexpected and control what we can control. One thing is certain: this group of players is hungry for the challenge.”

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No Mexico Games In US Until 2021

Mexico Concacaf Winners

The Mexico national team will not be playing in the United States until fans are allowed back into stadiums, meaning El Tri is unlikely to play in the U.S. this year, according to Mexican federation (FMF) president Yon de Luisa.

Mexico usually plays five friendly games per year in the United States through its contract with Soccer United Marketing (SUM), attracting crowds that are regularly over 50,000.

However, the coronavirus pandemic means the immediate future of international football is up in the air.

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FIFA Postpones South American World Cup Qualifiers

World Cup Trophy

FIFA has postponed South American qualifying matches for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a request from the region’s football federation amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

,A statement from the sport’s world governing body read:

“Following consultation with CONMEBOL, FIFA has decided to postpone the upcoming South American qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as follows:

“Matches originally scheduled to take place during the international window of 23-31 March 2020 are postponed to later dates
Details of the postponed matches will be discussed and announced soon

Europe, World Cup

Luis Enrique Returns As Spain Boss

Luis Enrique has officially returned as Spain boss five months after stepping down for personal reasons, it has been confirmed.

Former Barcelona boss Enrique stepped down from the role in June to spend time with his terminally ill daughter, who tragically passed away earlier this year.

The 49-year-old was replaced by his assistant, Robert Moreno, who went unbeaten through his nine matches at the helm – winning seven, and they have sealed their place in next summer’s European Championships finals.

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Luis Enrique Sacked Friend For Being “Disloyal”

luis enrique spain

Luis Enrique made his official return as head coach of the Spain team on Wednesday morning in Madrid, admitting that he felt betrayed by his former No 2 Robert Moreno.

Moreno took over from Luis Enrique in June when he resigned to care for his nine-year-old daughter Xana before she died of bone cancer in August.

Moreno saw Spain safely into next summer’s tournament but then left the job in tears after the last qualifier without giving his final post-match press conference.

The Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] reappointed Luis Enrique the following day amid suggestions he had not wanted Moreno on his staff.

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Mancini Extends Italy Contract Until 2022

Roberto Mancini has extended his contract as Italy boss until 2022 after sealing qualification for Euro 2020.

Mancini has honoured a clause in his deal to commit his future for another three years, having transformed Italy’s fortunes since taking charge in May 2018.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup less than two years ago but the former Manchester City boss has guided his side to seven wins out of seven in Euro 2020 qualification.

Italy’s latest victory, a 2-0 victory over Greece, booked their place at the tournament next summer and prompted Mancini to put pen to paper on an extension.

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Brazil Wins Copa America

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In front of 70,000 revellers at the Maracana, Brazil prolonged their record of having won the Copa America each time they have hosted the tournament by beating Peru 3-1 on Sunday evening.

Despite it being the Mecca of Brazilian football, this was only the host’s third game at the iconic stadium since a 2013 friendly against England and the Confederations Cup final win over Spain in the same year, which tricked Brazil into being fooled about its standing in the international power ranks after overcoming the reigning world and European champions at the time.

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Portugal Win First UEFA Nations League

Portugal Win Nations League

There was moment deep in the second half when Cristiano Ronaldo went back into his own penalty area and began to bark out orders.

Rui Patricio, the Wolves goalkeeper, was lectured; so too was Portugal left-back Raphael Guerreiro. The hosts had just taken the lead in the Nations League final and the message from the man who has carried his country’s hopes and dreams was clear: this does not slip.

Ronaldo will never forget the pain he went through in 2004, when Portugal lost at home in the final of the European Championships to Greece, and it would be wrong to say that this new tournament carried the same kind of emotion and kudos.

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Messi Returns From International Duty Injured

Lionel Messi has touched back down in Barcelona after pulling out of the Argentina squad due to injury.

The talisman had made his much anticipated return to the national set-up in a friendly with Venezuela, but his comeback was dampened as Argentina fell to a 3-1 defeat.

Salomon Rondon’s strike in the sixth minute got things off to a bad start, before Jhon Murillo doubled the lead and Josef Martinez scored a third.

Lautaro Martinez pulled a goal back for Argentina but it wasn’t enough, though Messi was able to get through the full-match despite his injury concern.