Elite Players Group World Cup announced - what is it? Which players will play in it?
Various ex-players announced the new tournament that will take place at the end of the year.
Football never stops, it just keeps going. Growing in all directions like frothing soap suds in a bath, even the players who chose to leave the sport can’t keep away from it. The Elite Players Group (EPG), an organisation created by and for elite footballers, have announced the creation of a new ‘World Cup’ tournament for over-35-year-old players.
A group of self-selected ‘captains’, including Michel Salgado, Esteban Cambiasso and Steve McManaman, as well as EPG President, Matias Sarasola, have revealed the newest tournament that will occupy a space in the world of football in December 2023. “The EPG World Cup will be full of enthusiasm and excitement from the fans”; said Sarasola, “while the footballers show that talent and passion know no limits. The fans will witness that technical brilliance never goes away and how experience turns these players into true masters of the sport.”
Who can play in the EPG World Cup?
The players who are deemed eligible will have to have played in a FIFA World Cup match or have over 100 international caps. “The teams will be formed by players who have left a permanent mark on world football and who have the potential to continue to put on a show”, said Sarasola.
Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, France, England, Italy and Germany will participate; the respective captains of these teams are: Michel Salgado (Spain), Steve McMannaman (England), Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina), Emerson (Brazil), Diego Lugano (Uruguay), Christian Karembeu (France), Marco Materazzi (Italy) and Kevin Kuranyi (Germany).
How will the matches and tournament work?
The matches will last 35 minutes each and will be split into two halves with a 15-minute break in between. There is no extra-time, meaning score draws will go directly to a penalty shootout. The venue for all the games will be the same and it will be a knockout-style tournament.
The games will be played on real grass pitches, with 11 players on each team.
Which players will play in the EPG World Cup?
We’re not sure as to all of the players who will play in the tournament, however, at the presentation in Barcelona, the various captains confirmed some of their teammates, including Kaká, Cafu and Rivaldo for Brazil and Pablo Zabaleta, Maxi Rodríguez and Javier Zanetti for Argentina. As for Spain, Michel Salgado confirmed that David Villa, Fernando Morientes, Joan Capdevila and Gaizka Mendieta will all be there, and that Joaquín and Carles Puyol may also feature.