Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

October 30th, 2017, 7:23 am #201

Not sure how a one-off match between European Champions (or runners-up sometimes) and South American champions can be considered a legit world championship (let alone an official one) by an organisation with 6 confederations.

They might as well consider the British Championship as a World Championship in the pre-FIFA years.
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Joined: April 5th, 2012, 10:54 am

October 30th, 2017, 7:39 am #202

Only slightly less of a shambles than Team GB being awarded a gold medal in cricket at the 1900 Olympics after beating France (actually mostly British Embassy officials from Paris).
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

October 30th, 2017, 1:11 pm #203

Perhaps if I play against you at chess in a sushi bar during the next Olympics in Tokyo, in 100 years time we will be considered the first Olympic chess medallists.  Then I can add a silver (at least) to my gold in the chocolate limes competition.
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October 30th, 2017, 3:08 pm #204

nfm24 wrote: Not sure how a one-off match between European Champions (or runners-up sometimes) and South American champions can be considered a legit world championship (let alone an official one) by an organisation with 6 confederations.
The Intercontinental Cup was surely official because it was organized and recognized by UEFA + CONMEBOL. The most correct definition for the winners would have been "intercontinental champions", but it's also true that from 1960 to 2004 the European and the South American schools were probably the strongest and most competitive in club football, so the term "world champions" was not usurped. Now the situation has changed. The UEFA Champions League winners are stronger and stronger, while I'm not sure the Copa Libertadores champions nowadays represent the second best school in the world. Other continental leagues are improving their level, mainly thanks to their financial resources, so it will be extremely difficult for South America to maintain the second place in club football hierarchy.

Kaizeler wrote: Only slightly less of a shambles than Team GB being awarded a gold medal in cricket at the 1900 Olympics after beating France (actually mostly British Embassy officials from Paris).
Well, I remember when in 1954 Wolverhampton Wanderers were proclaimed "champions of the world" by Daily Mirror after winning a couple of friendlies...
Last edited by Luca on November 1st, 2017, 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 3rd, 2006, 11:49 am

October 30th, 2017, 3:46 pm #205

there was also an intercontinental competition between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL and even between CAF and AFC....so even "intercontintal champion" is not a good title.....there was simply no world championship for clubs before, just like there was no WC for countries before 1930....some call the olympic champions World champions before 1930, it is also incorrect ...
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

October 30th, 2017, 4:06 pm #206

pieter wrote: there was also an intercontinental competition between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL
And that cup, the Copa Interamericana, apparently had an informal agreement that the winner would be the team that plays for the Toyota Cup.

In 1980 it had a Mexican winner, but Nacional still went to Tokyo and won the thing when under a CWC-style format they wouldn't have been in the 'final' in the first place. Same thing happened in 1977 too.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

October 31st, 2017, 3:21 pm #207

pieter wrote:...there was simply no world championship for clubs before, just like there was no WC for countries before 1930....
👍
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Joined: February 9th, 2011, 2:58 pm

November 1st, 2017, 6:38 am #208

There's the paradox of the 2000 season: Corinthians won the FIFA Club World Championship, while Boca Juniors won the Intercontinental Cup. So according to FIFA there were two world champions that year!
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 26th, 2017, 4:03 pm #209

The new (UEFA) Champions League & Europa League 'access list' for the next few seasons has been put out there, and as anticipated there's not a great deal of 'access' for many of the leagues below #4. From the looks of things the champions of the 4 lowest leagues will actually play a mini-cup to start off the CL season where only 1 will progress (even the OFC aren't that elimination-friendly).

On the bright side though all eliminated teams from the CL qualifiers (including the earliest rounds where it was most needed) now get a second chance in the EL (including a separate 'league path'), just a shame it's at the expense of a smaller window at the top when it really didn't have to be, still doesn't. It means that no more and no less than 26/54 league champions will still be involved by September, currently there's a minimum of 20 and maximum of 30, so not too sure what to make of things there.

CL group stage club allocation: up (to at least 48) with this sort of thing!
Last edited by mattsanger92 on November 27th, 2017, 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

November 26th, 2017, 4:27 pm #210

I suppose, whatever format is used, it is important to underline how the situation could change in future editions based on results, via the dreaded coefficient.  Can a minnow country progress, or are they doomed to remain a minnow?

For example, suppose the champion of Malta (say) makes it through several qualifying rounds to get to the CL group stage and then does OKish.   How big an impact does this have on Malta's chances in the next season? 
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 26th, 2017, 5:45 pm #211

Theoretically yes, leagues progressing and declining happen all the time especially in the middle of the pack (Cyprus for example had an automatic group stage place a few seasons ago (itself a massive rise), but next season their champion starts in Q1).

To help your example, the most points any club could pick up in relation to the league ranking I think is 48 (winning all their CL games starting from the preliminary round + picking up all possible bonus points for reaching certain rounds), the Maltese champion starting in Q1 is a bit later so they could pick up 46. That alone could catapault Malta into the top 10, maybe as high as 7th on the current table. However, it's worked out on averages, so if the other 3 Maltese clubs in the EL performed as they did this season (for arguments' sake let's say they took 1 point each), then 49÷4 = 12.25 = 32nd place in the current standings. Add the few points they picked up in the seasons before (see below), and maybe they get up to 30th.

And to add another spanner in the works, the individual club ranking seems to be changing next season (at the bottom of this page, basically a club that doesn't get a CL group stage slot needs to win 2 EL group games just to match the base points of a club that does achieve the former (16 of those CL group places of course belonging to clubs in the top 4 leagues)).

Can't see anything new for the league co-efficient yet but the way things have been going it wouldn't be too surprising to see if UEFA come up with a system to try and keep the top 4 leagues in the top 4, barring (to borrow an Italian phrase) an apocalypse of a performance by a league's clubs. And even with an apocalypse there's then the small matter of the 5-season sum that UEFA already uses.

So long story short it's doable to jump up the rankings, but UEFA are probably going to make it even harder than it already was.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

November 26th, 2017, 6:34 pm #212

mattsanger92 wrote:However, it's worked out on averages, so if the other 3 Maltese clubs in the EL performed as they did this season (for arguments' sake let's say they took 1 point each), then 49÷4 = 12.25 = 32nd place in the current standings. Add the few points they picked up in the seasons before (see below), and maybe they get up to 30th.
This explains why Rangers were so awful in Europe.   They wanted to make it harder for Celtic...

I haven't paid attention to this for a bit, but I thought that the coefficient for the Eurocups was also dependent upon national team performance.
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November 26th, 2017, 7:08 pm #213

nfm24 wrote:I haven't paid attention to this for a bit, but I thought that the coefficient for the Eurocups was also dependent upon national team performance.
No, there's a separate one for national teams (used for seeding in the Euros and the new Nations League). The right way to go about things (despite the club and arguably the national one's problems), but definitely a confusing setup, been fooled a couple of times before by the page I linked to...
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November 26th, 2017, 7:11 pm #214

nfm24 wrote:This explains why Rangers were so awful in Europe.   They wanted to make it harder for Celtic...
Might be a nationwide epidemic then. When was the last time a Scottish club called not-Celtic reached a group stage?
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November 26th, 2017, 9:02 pm #215

I remember Rangers being in a particularly dull CL group with Manchester Utd a few years ago.

About 10 years back, both the Old Firm were in the CL group stage.  Celtic beat AC Milan and went through to the first knockout round.  Rangers managed a draw with Barca (who then knocked out Celtic) but finished 3rd and dropped down to the Europa.  Somehow Walter Smith dragged them to the final of that.    Aberdeen were in the Europa group stage, though I can't remember any of the results apart from a draw with Bayern.

I think part of the problem for the non-Old Firm teams is that the early qualifying rounds are basically during the summer holidays, and even if the players were actually fit, in form, and properly prepared, the crowd and the general football public aren't.   There is very little appetite for matches such as Falkirk vs Vaduz, or Motherwell vs [insert uninspiring Central Europeans here] and they don't seem like important games, even though they really are - not least because of the coefficient.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 27th, 2017, 4:47 am #216

nfm24 wrote:I think part of the problem for the non-Old Firm teams is that the early qualifying rounds are basically during the summer holidays, and even if the players were actually fit, in form, and properly prepared, the crowd and the general football public aren't.   There is very little appetite for matches such as Falkirk vs Vaduz, or Motherwell vs [insert uninspiring Central Europeans here] and they don't seem like important games, even though they really are - not least because of the coefficient.
The parts that make no sense to me is partly the 'fans not ready' and partly 'no appetite'. St Johnstone play Kilmarnock at least 3-4 times a season already, but they've never met {Googles...} FK Trakai before this season started, surely there should be some kind of appetite for the unknown? Never really understood the 'fans not ready' part either, if they buy into the 'football is back' message in August that Sky peddle each year then surely any games before that, especially competitive ones, is a bonus?

The argument that some bigger clubs might use (that it's 'uncompetitive') is completely void if they keep losing all the time, or maybe they meant uncompetitive in the opposite sense...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

November 27th, 2017, 5:14 am #217

mattsanger92 wrote: The parts that make no sense to me is partly the 'fans not ready' and partly 'no appetite'. St Johnstone play Kilmarnock at least 3-4 times a season already, but they've never met {Googles...} FK Trakai before this season started, surely there should be some kind of appetite for the unknown?
I think the real fans of the club are up for it, but the general football community (including media) aren't, and these games often pass barely noticed.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 27th, 2017, 5:34 am #218

nfm24 wrote:I think the real fans of the club are up for it, but the general football community (including media) aren't, and these games often pass barely noticed.
Just checked St Johnstone's attendances for this season and you're right (the game against Trakai only bettered by games against Celtic and Rangers), the media really don't do it many favours, presumably all to help sell their 'big relaunch' stuff every August (they even go for a 'Premier League is back' angle after every international break now, and that's less than a fortnight).

That trend of 'EL qualifiers = lower attendance' does seem to be truer in England, presumably as cup ties the ticket prices in those games are much lower too so you'd think it would be a free-for-all in a time when so many fans complain (not unjustified) at being priced out of top-level football. Maybe I'm just missing something and the pull of the Premier League is indeed that strong... 🙄
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November 27th, 2017, 6:06 am #219

It just makes it harder to get in the right mindset to treat it seriously enough.

It's like the end of exam season.  You have all your exams in May-June, but by the time your last exam comes round you are tired, and other people are partying, and it's sunny outside, and you talk yourself into thinking that you've already done enough in the earlier exams, so even though you know the last exam is potentially veryy important, it doesn't feel important.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 30th, 2017, 8:03 am #220

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Joined: February 9th, 2011, 2:58 pm

November 30th, 2017, 2:25 pm #221

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino: “The world means not only Europe or South America but the whole world”.

But a couple of weeks ago FIFA officially recognised all the winners of the European/South American Cup between 1960 and 2004 as proper world champions.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 30th, 2017, 3:16 pm #222

Not to mention an apparent format that would give Asia/NA/Africa 2 places each in the competition and Oceania 1 (if that).

Bear in mind that this is once every 4 seasons, so it it means the former 3 have half the representation they currently have with Oceania getting a quarter (ignoring that Auckland City's form probably makes that part irrelevant). Meanwhile South America have 1.25x more and Europe 3x.

The CWC doesn't really need to be much more than a multi-round super cup, and if it does want to be altered for alteration's sake then Mr Infantino can see plenty of suggestions in some previous posts, as long as he pays us what we'd be due 💵💶💷💴.
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Joined: February 9th, 2011, 2:58 pm

December 1st, 2017, 3:16 am #223

I think the format was perfect in 2005 and 2006, with the presence of the six continental champions. 
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 1st, 2017, 4:16 am #224

I think it was perfect in 1882, when only British teams and potentially some colonial teams could enter.
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December 1st, 2017, 8:02 am #225

Luca wrote: I think the format was perfect in 2005 and 2006, with the presence of the six continental champions. 
😢

I think they just wanted something to increase local interest, even though chances are the stadium being used doesn't belong to the league champion so it relies a bit on a sense of 'national pride' in a rival club. Try that in England and you'd have Manchester City playing in London or something (although they missed a trick by not qualifying to this one in Abu Dhabi).

They could really clean up the current format just by inviting the defending champions and have an 8-team straight knockout (positional play-offs optional). If the defending champions are already qualified anyway (Real Madrid), bye them to the semi-finals and the other 6 clubs start in the quarters.
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Joined: November 3rd, 2006, 11:49 am

December 1st, 2017, 1:48 pm #226

mattsanger92 wrote:
Luca wrote: I think the format was perfect in 2005 and 2006, with the presence of the six continental champions. 
😢

I think they just wanted something to increase local interest, even though chances are the stadium being used doesn't belong to the league champion so it relies a bit on a sense of 'national pride' in a rival club. Try that in England and you'd have Manchester City playing in London or something (although they missed a trick by not qualifying to this one in Abu Dhabi).

They could really clean up the current format just by inviting the defending champions and have an 8-team straight knockout (positional play-offs optional). If the defending champions are already qualified anyway (Real Madrid), bye them to the semi-finals and the other 6 clubs start in the quarters.
8 teams seems logical....but not to FIFA...
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Joined: February 9th, 2011, 2:58 pm

December 1st, 2017, 2:35 pm #227

mattsanger92 wrote:
Luca wrote: I think the format was perfect in 2005 and 2006, with the presence of the six continental champions. 
😢
I remember that edition, I watched the final on SportItalia. If my memory serves me correctly, Liverpool were not "helped" by the referee and at the end of the game coach Rafa Benítez was quite angry.
nfm24 wrote: I think it was perfect in 1882, when only British teams and potentially some colonial teams could enter.
I bet that even in that case the Scottish teams would be eliminated in the first round anyway... 😆
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 2nd, 2017, 3:55 am #228

Yes that tricky away leg against Griqualand West might be too much.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 2nd, 2017, 6:19 am #229

Luca wrote:
mattsanger92 wrote:
Luca wrote: I think the format was perfect in 2005 and 2006, with the presence of the six continental champions. 
😢
I remember that edition, I watched the final on SportItalia. If my memory serves me correctly, Liverpool were not "helped" by the referee and at the end of the game coach Rafa Benítez was quite angry.
3 disallowed goals and look at the stats. I think that game more than any proved to me how irrelevant it all is when the "goals scored" section is saying the opposite (until of course a game like this appeared).

Definitely up there as one of the most bitter experiences as a Liverpool fan anyway (although seeing Ceni getting that recognition softened the blow).
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 2nd, 2017, 6:49 am #230

mattsanger92 wrote:Definitely up there as one of the most bitter experiences as a Liverpool fan anyway
Surely the moment when Hodgson signed Paul Konchesky?
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December 10th, 2017, 1:51 pm #231

Semi-finals this week:

Gremio v Pachuca
Real Madrid v Al-Jazira

Ordinarily I'd want the underdogs to do well, but in this case I hope Pachuca get sufficient karma for this 'leading 0' nonsense on their kits. For some reason I'm perfectly fine with that triple-digit stuff that Mexican clubs do (in fact it makes a lot of sense in some ways) but this just looks ridiculous...
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December 10th, 2017, 4:07 pm #232

It's one of the few things I've been reasonably happy about when watching Scotland.  They stick to shirt numbers 1-11 for the starting lineup.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 10th, 2017, 6:14 pm #233

I'm fine with teams doing anything from 1-23 in competitive internationals, that tends to be the max squad limit for tournaments and such, friendlies should be 1-11 (then subs up to total # of players) though to get some sense of tradition, think it's only England, Scotland, Netherlands, and some of the smaller countries in Europe who really do that anymore though.

At club level though I'm far more open-minded (apart from leading 0's)this lot though are proper 'yer da'-type sticklers right down to numbers for position...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 10th, 2017, 6:46 pm #234

Let's go back to the days when there were no shirt numbers.
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December 13th, 2017, 2:22 pm #235

Gremio and Real Madrid both scrape through to Saturday's final.

Meanwhile, the British press have more urgent matters to concern themselves with...
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Joined: November 3rd, 2006, 11:49 am

December 13th, 2017, 3:29 pm #236

mattsanger92 wrote: Gremio and Real Madrid both scrape through to Saturday's final.

Meanwhile, the British press have more urgent matters to concern themselves with...
a pity Al Jazira could not hold the 1-0 (or the 2-0 if there was no VAR....)
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December 16th, 2017, 2:32 pm #237

Real Madrid 1-0 Grêmio

A football lesson from Real Madrid. This match was similar to the 2017 Champions League final: first half balanced, second half dominated by Real. Not a good refereeing: there was a penalty in favour of Grêmio in the second half, the second goal scored by Real and later disallowed was probably regular and after a couple of minutes Pedro Geromel of Grêmio deserved a clear yellow card for a terrible foul on Cristiano Ronaldo, but the referee just ignored it. And Casemiro probably deserved a second yellow card in the first half.
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December 18th, 2017, 2:48 pm #238

An increasingly diminished feeder to North America's Champions League, CONCACAF have now taken control of Caribbean club football and added yet another layer. This could be called CONCACAF-ception but they don't even offer the dignity of letting clubs from the 'tier 2' competition a way into the tier 1 event through winning the former, cutting off all but 4 Caribbean leagues from any kind of path to the Club World Cup. Boo!
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Joined: October 3rd, 2017, 5:24 pm

December 18th, 2017, 7:09 pm #239

Tier 2 teams are in the path to Club World Cup.
The winner qualifies to CONCACAF League that qualifies to Champions League
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 19th, 2017, 2:35 pm #240

Ah, sorry, article didn't mention that part. I partially withdraw my boo.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

January 23rd, 2018, 5:21 pm #241

mattsanger92 wrote:Ordinarily I'd want the underdogs to do well, but in this case I hope Pachuca get sufficient karma for this 'leading 0' nonsense on their kits. For some reason I'm perfectly fine with that triple-digit stuff that Mexican clubs do (in fact it makes a lot of sense in some ways) but this just looks ridiculous...
Some excessively high shirt numbers from Africa, in November 1967, St George (Ethiopia) hosting Englebert (Congo-Kinshasa) in the African club cup semi-final 2nd leg:

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Joined: October 31st, 2006, 5:16 pm

January 23rd, 2018, 6:54 pm #242

It looks like these numbers have been painted on.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

January 24th, 2018, 4:49 am #243

Maybe there is some superstition / lucky numbers thing in Congo with multiples of 11.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

February 27th, 2018, 5:17 pm #244

The UEFA Champions League (& Europa League) - those changes are now official. Boooooo!
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

March 13th, 2018, 1:07 pm #245

Official video confirmation boo:

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March 28th, 2018, 12:39 pm #246

More changes incoming for UEFA club cups - including Serie A-style big benches for finals, the extra time 4th sub, new untraditional kickoff times, and no more players getting cup-tied.

They could've done with fixing the 'Aubameyang clause', but took it to a point where some fear it'll cause an even wider gap between have and have-nots.
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April 17th, 2018, 5:36 pm #247

New-ish information on possible expanded FIFA Club World Cup - 24 clubs every 4 summers, slots filled by:
  •     4 x UEFA CL winners
  •     4 x UEFA CL runner-up
  •     4 x UEFA EL winners
  •     2 x AFC CL winners
  •     2 x CONCACAF CL winners
  •     2 x CAF CL winners
  •     4-5 Libertadores / South American winners
  •     0-1 OFC CL winners
  •     Quick maths tells me that only makes 24 if you use the higher of the bottom 2 figures, unless they have something else planned for those final 0-2 slots.
  •     Presumably some play-off or ranking system to fill any gaps left by double-qualifiers.
So losing a Champions League final gets you a place, while winning the Oceanian CL gets you a quarter or even an eighth of a place (without accounting for the potential difficulty of opponent).

Just adding to the boos that need to be readied incase this thing becomes real... don't mind some elitist club cups like this but they should be new things from the off, rather than jumping onto something that already exists.
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April 17th, 2018, 6:35 pm #248

Hosts? Holders?
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April 18th, 2018, 11:20 am #249

Maybe to both (although the holders thing is less likely considering they never thought to do it as a way of simplifying the existing super cup-style format).

The 'hosts' part would probably involve more play-offs, I just don't think club football is suited to have a cup that only runs once every 4 years especially when it's meant to be the biggest prize.
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April 18th, 2018, 12:53 pm #250

It would be particularly redundant if one of the qualifiers is a team that won the Champions [sic] League 4 years ago with a completely different squad, manager, perhaps even stadium.
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