World Cup - Soccer Wiretap

Barcelona, Spain Battle Over Potential Ansu Fati Call-Up

Sep 20, 2019 5:13 PM

Ernesto Valverde cautioned Spain against calling up Ansu Fati for next month's U-17 World Cup.

"He's still not been called up so we will see what happens. But it would be a setback because he's a player who's just coming into the first team and we don't know what will happen in that run of games [in October and November]," said Valverde.

Fati could miss up to five weeks if he were called up.

Fati is also eligible to play for Portugal and Guinea-Bissau.

Moises Llorens & Sam Marsden/ESPN FC

Tags: Barcelona, Spain, World Cup

FIFA Wants Next Women's World Cup To Include 32 Teams

Jul 26, 2019 6:55 PM

FIFA is proposing to add 8 more teams to the 2023 Women's World Cup, asking its ruling council to approve of the idea within days and without a formal meeting. 

Current setup includes 24 teams. 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino believes that the success of the 2019 Women's World Cup showed the commercial viability of the tournament, as well as its importance in speeding up the development of the women's game. 


Tags: World Cup

Megan Rapinoe Becomes Second American To Win Golden Boot Award

Jul 8, 2019 1:41 AM

Megan Rapinoe became the second American to win the Golden Boot award after scoring a penalty as the U.S. beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the World Cup final.

Rapinoe and Alex Morgan each finished with six goals in the tournament, though Rapinoe won the tie-breaker as she played fewer minutes than Morgan.

Michelle Akers won the Golden Boot award in the 1999 World Cup. 

Alyssa Roenigk/ESPN

Tags: United States, World Cup

Spain, Portugal May Launch Joint Bid For 2030 World Cup

Jun 11, 2019 1:53 PM

Spain and Portugal are considering whether to launch a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup.

The two countries previously launched a bid for the 2018 World Cup that was ultimately awarded to Russia.

Spain had previously been rumored to launch a bid with Morocco, although the African country was not named in this current potential bid. 

BeIn Sports

Tags: Portugal, Spain, World Cup

2022 World Cup Reduced Back From 48 Teams To 32

May 22, 2019 5:28 PM

FIFA has abandoned its plan to expand the field for the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams.

"In line with the conclusions of the feasibility study approved by the FIFA Council at its last meeting, FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022," a FIFA statement read on Thursday.

"Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now.

"Additionally, FIFA and Qatar have once again explored the feasibility of Qatar hosting a 48-team tournament by in particular lowering certain key FIFA requirements. A joint analysis, in this respect, concluded that due to the advanced stage of preparations and the need for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact on the host country, more time would be required and a decision could not be taken before the deadline of June. It was therefore decided not to further pursue this option.

"The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June."


Tags: World Cup

Adidas To Pay Equal Bonus For Women's World Cup Champion

Mar 9, 2019 3:00 PM

The winning team of the Women's World Cup will receive an equal bonus pay as their male counterparts, according to adidas.

"Today we are announcing that all Adidas athletes on the winning 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup team will receive the same performance bonus payout as their male peers. We believe in inspiring and enabling the next generation of female athletes, creators and leaders through breaking barriers," said head of global brands Eric Liedtke.

The announcement comes on the heels of U.S. women's national soccer team roster suing U.S. Soccer for gender-based discrimination. 


Tags: United States, World Cup

Will Ferrell To Play Former FIFA Exec Chuck Blazer In Film

Mar 1, 2019 7:57 PM

Will Ferrell has signed on to play former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer in an upcoming role.

Blazer admitted that he and other FIFA executives received bribes to vote for France and South Africa to host the 1998 and 2010 World Cup.

The project, set for HBO, will be based on the book American Huckster: How Chuck Blazer Got Rich From -- And Sold Out -- The Most Powerful Cabal In World Sports by Mary Papenfuss and Teri Thompson.


Tags: World Cup

FIFA Threatens To Ban European Super League Players From World Cup

Nov 7, 2018 7:27 PM

FIFA is threatening to ban players from participating in the World Cup if they also play in a breakaway European Super League.

Both FIFA and UEFA are opposed to the proposed European Super League.

"Either you are in or you are out," Gianni Infantino said, listing the World Cup, European Championship and national leagues as competitions that players from breakaway teams could be excluded from. "This includes everything."

FIFA is proposing a Club World Cup project that would be played every four years.

"The Club World Cup is the answer to any attempt to think even about any sort of breakaway leagues," he said.


Tags: UEFA Champions League, World Cup

FIFA Wants To Expand World Cup To 48 Teams By 2022

Oct 31, 2018 1:02 PM

Gianni Infantino has said that he hopes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be expanded to 48 teams, saying such an expansion is “possible” and “feasible.”

“We have decided … to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments from 32 to 48. It will happen in 2026. Will it happen in 2022? You know me. It is possible. It is possible. Why not?” he added.

Infantino told the Asian Football Confederation's national football associations that expanding the tournament would see the number of Asian countries’ teams qualifying for the World Cup finals rise from 4.5 (four guaranteed and one play-off place) in a 32-nation tournament, to 8.5.

“You will have (a bigger) chance,” he said. “It is possible... It is feasible. We are discussing with our Qatari friends. We are discussing with many other friends in the region. We hope we have it happen. We always have to try.”

David Conn/The Guardian

Tags: World Cup

UEFA Backs England's Joint Nations Bid For 2030 World Cup

Aug 31, 2018 2:11 PM

UEFA is backing a joint home nations bid for the 2030 World Cup with the hope of bringing the tournament back to England for the first time since 1966.

The Football Association is understood to have promised its Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland counterparts that it will consult with them before making any bid. 

Any home nations bid would face stiff opposition from a joint bid by Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, a campaign buoyed by the fact that 2030 marks 100 years since the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930.

The 2026 World Cup will be in North America.

Martha Kelner/The Guardian

Tags: England, World Cup

Kylian Mbappe Hid Back Injury During World Cup Semis, Final
Kylian Mbappe hurt three vertebrae in his back when picking his things up to go for a shower.

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

Mesut Ozil Retires From Germany Team
Mesut Ozil retired from the national team citing "racism and disrespect."

Tom Bryant/The Guardian

2018 World Cup Final Drew Approximately 900M Viewers Worldwide
In the United States, the final was watched by 11.8 million on Fox compared to 17.3 on ABC in 2014.

Elsa Keslassy/Variety

Brazil Opens As Favorites For 2022 World Cup
Brazil are 6-1 favorites, followed by France at +650 and Germany at 7-1.


Argentina Parts Ways With Jorge Sampaoli
Jorge Sampaoli was previously manager of Chile and Sevilla.

RealGM Staff Report

France Wins 2018 World Cup With 4-2 Victory Over Croatia
France received goals from Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

RealGM Staff Report

Luka Modric Wins Golden Ball Of 2018 World Cup
Luka Modric beat out Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann to win the award for the best player of the tournament.

RealGM Staff Report

Gareth Southgate Advocates For Clubs To Give Young Players More Time
Gareth Southgate advocated for clubs to give younger players more of a chance as he did with England in the World Cup.

Niall McVeigh/The Guardian

Kylian Mbappe, Luka Modric Have Highest Ratings Of WC Finalists
The 2018 World Cup is now through the semifinals and here is how the players rank in terms of the WhoScored player rating.

RealGM Staff Report

Croatia To Play France In World Cup Final
Ivan Perisic equalized in the 68th minute and Mario Mandzukic scored the winner in the 109th minute to give Croatia the win.

RealGM Staff Report

Fox, Telemundo To Lose Money With World Cup Coverage
Fox will spend some $900 million on soccer rights through the 2026 World Cup.

Joe Flint, Suzanne Vranica/Wall Street Journal

Fernando Hierro Won't Continue As Manager Of Spain
Fernando Hierro took over as manager after Julen Lopetegui was fired on the eve of the World Cup.

The Guardian

Eden Hazard, Yerry Mina, Isco Lead World Cup In WhoScored Rating
The 2018 World Cup is now through the quarterfinals and here is how the players rank in terms of the WhoScored player rating.


Edinson Cavani Likely To Miss Match Against France
Edinson Cavani suffered a calf injury in the round of 16 against Portugal.

Diego Munoz/ESPN

Mikel John Obi's Father Kidnapped Before Nigeria's Argentina Match
Pa Michael Obi was abducted in south-east Nigeria as he travelled to a funeral along the Makurdi-Enugu expressway from Jos.

The Guardian

Germany Confirms Joachim Loew Will Remain As Manager
Joachim Loew signed a contract extension in May that runs through the 2022 World Cup.

The Guardian

Andres Iniesta Announces Retirement From Spain
Andres Iniesta was Spain's fourth-most capped player, behind Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Xavi Hernandez.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Javier Mascherano Announces Retirement From Argentina
Javier Mascherano has played his last match with Argentina.


Belgium, Uruguay, Spain Lead In xG Differential After Group Stage
Expected goals (xG) is a method developed by Michael Caley for estimating the quality of chances that a team creates or concedes in a match.

RealGM Staff Report

World Cup Snapshot: Belgium 1, England 0
Belgium has won Group G with their victory over England.

RealGM Staff Report