2017 FIFA Club World Cup: Tournament News & Qualifiers [R]

Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by Nico Limmat, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    With the CONCACAF reform I got curious how many games a club has to play to be crowned continental champion in the six confederations. Some clubs enter earlier than others (qualifying rounds) so therefore we have a min-max range. I think it's safe to say that most of the times the winner will play the minimum amount of games:

    UEFA: 13-21

    CONMEBOL: 14-20

    CONCACAF: 8-16*

    AFC: 14-17

    CAF: 14-16

    OFC: 7-10

    *Assuming we see the CONCACAF "fall tournament" as a qualifier and not an independent tournament with a carrot at the end (i.e. Europa League with a UCL spot for the winner)
     

  2. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    The AFC CL group stage line-up is complete and the 2017 edition of the tournament took a major "star power" hit in the qualifiers. Out are once again Xavi (Al Sadd) as well as Carlos Tevez, Fredy Guarin and Obafemi Martins on high-spending Shanghai Shenhua. Playing the Aussie teams is always tricky at this time of the year (they are in mid-season form) but Shenhua really should have done better. Such an early exit can't sit well with the ownership after all that spending in the winter transfer window.

    On the upside, having Esteghlal in the group stage is always good for attendance. They had 75,000 in the Azadi stands against Al Sadd. With Jeonbuk Motors suspended and El Jaish eliminated two of last year's semi-finalists are already out of the picture before the group stage even starts. Give credit to Hong Kong's Kitchee who took Ulsan all the way to penalties. Also notably absent this year are Thailand's Buriram United.

     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  3. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Member+

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    Head-in-the-sand question: are Saudi Arabia and Iran cool again, or are clubs from those countries going to play in neutral sites on the last matchdays like last year?
     
  4. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    Still neutral sites. Al Hilal - Persepolis is going to be in Oman. I was hoping to get that one in the UAE. For the Arab/Persian Gulf region it doesn't get any bigger than that - especially in the current political climate.
     


  5. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    City rivals Shanghai SIPG did make it through and Oscar got his first official goal for them:

     
  6. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

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    I wonder which one will become the better league, Chinese Ping An or the MLS? Their glass ceiling will be at best similar to Ligue 1 or Portuguese Primeira.
     
  7. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    Hard to say. Right now the CSL has all the global headlines but MLS has a head start at developing the domestic talent (USA, not Canada). It all depends on Chinese commitment and (long-term) investments into facilities like the Evergrande Football School:

     
  8. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

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    LOL, "reaching for World Cup glory". Unless to them WC glory means getting two points in their group, they can dream of winning the WC for the next 40 years. This is not a pseudo-sport like badminton, luge or yak-skinning.

    In 2038, Uruguay will still beat them.
     


  9. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    Before things get busy on the field let's name and shame the most under-performing association in each confederation:

    UEFA - France: No title since 1993. Commercial revenues and sporting merit (mostly) make Ligue 1 one of the "Top 5" European leagues. What has hampered them in the past is the lack of "Super-clubs" but that excuse has now faded with the rise of PSG.

    CONMEBOL - Mexico: No title to date. I realize this is a controversial pick, given Mexico's guest status in South America, but with the resources available to Mexican clubs they should have a title by now since they started playing in the Copa Libertadores in 1998. Especially the last few years the Libertadores appeared to be wide open. Yes, I know Mexico has to send the best clubs to the CONCACAF Champions League but Liga MX is a rather deep league with high fluctuations in form so that diminishes this particular excuse somewhat.

    CONCACAF - USA: No title since the 2000 tournament. MLS has had a number of success stories off the field since then (commercial growth, infrastructure investment) but the continental performance has remained shockingly bad. Not even one chink in Mexico's armor in that many years? As evident in the Club World Cup and Copa Libertadores play Liga MX isn't exactly unbeatable.

    AFC - Saudi Arabia: No title since 2005. One of the Saudi giants should have claimed another title by now. Especially Al Hilal's loss to newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers in 2014 is inexcusable.

    CAF - Morocco: No title since 1999. Good infrastructure by African standards. Fellow North African associations Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria have all won in recent years.

    OFC - Papua New Guinea: No title since 2010. Because no one else has ever won since Australia left?

    Thoughts?
     
  10. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    The ongoing level of investment is impressive and 40 years is a long time (so I for one wouldn't underestimate them) but this thread is dedicated to the club game.

    The action kicks off in Africa this weekend. How about a youtube channel CAF?!?
     
  11. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

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    For Conmebol, the most underperforming is Bolivia. Unlike Mexico, they have been competing since the 50s and no titles yet. Also Venezuela, but at least for them soccer is a distant second national sport.
     
  12. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you misunderstood. This is isn't about who has gone the longest without winning. This is about assessing who should be doing better given the resources available at their disposal. By that I mean:

    - Revenue/finance streams
    - Overall club infrastructure
    - Community support
    - General environment/economy
    - Access to quality players, domestic and otherwise

    Don't think Bolivia and Venezuela qualify with that in mind.
     
  13. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

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    In that case Mexico for sure over Bolivia or Venezuela, given their respective population, infrastructure and resources.
     
  14. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    2016 Libertadores finalists Independiente del Valle (Ecuador) have already been eliminated in the second qualifying round this year. They lost to Paraguay's Olimpia.

    Remember Mamelodi Sundowns losing the away leg to Chicken Inn FC in the African qualifiers last year? Before winning it all? Well, yet another South African club just experienced an embarrassing away loss. Bidvest Wits lost to Réunion's Saint-Louisienne. Réunion (an overseas department of France) isn't even a full CAF member. They hold associate membership but get to send a team to the CAF CL for some reason.



    @Wandile - not impressed :D

    Shanghai Shenhua have issued a public apology after getting eliminated in Asia this early.

    UEFA kicks off its elimination rounds tonight with PSG-Barca.
     
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  15. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Member+

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    Out of curiosity: is their status with the CAF similar to that of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St.-Martin and French Guiana in CONCACAF? Although to the best of my knowledge, they're all full members and enter teams in all confederation tournaments.
     
  16. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

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    PSG won 4:0. Barcelona did 10 goals worse than their 6:0 win at Alaves on the weekend. Barcelona had 57 percent of the possession, but PSG had more shots on target 10 to 1. The other game was Benfica 1:0 Borussia Dortmund. Borussia Dortmund dominated the statistics with more shots (14 to 4), 65 percent of the possession, and 74 percent of the completed passes. Benfica scored with their only shot on target. Borussia Dortmund's 4 shots on target included a penalty kick.
     
  17. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member

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    Admittedly I haven't watched a lot of soccer lately (busy weekends plus Euro leagues in a bit of midseason lull), but I thought the PSG-Barca game was gripping. PSG dominating on the field and scoreboard was so unexpected, yet it was still suspenseful because you thought one goal and Barca are right back in the tie. Plus all those players I hadn't seen for awhile (I don't get either the French league or the Spanish league at home) who are so good. I really enjoyed it.
     
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  18. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    I honestly can't tell. The whole "associate membership" thing isn't entirely clear to me. The way I see it associate members should only be able to play friendlies and nothing else. Not compete in official competitions such as the CAF Champions League. SS Saint-Louisienne has also competed in the French Cup before, most recently in 2014.
    It was a terrific match and I am very impressed with PSG. They completely played Barcelona off the field. In this form they are favorites to win it all. It's almost as if they heard me call out Ligue 1 above. :D



    Looking forward to Arsenal-Bayern tonight. Bayern hasn't been in great form either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  19. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

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    Bayern Munich 5:1 Arsenal (it was 1:1 until the 53rd minute)
    Real Madrid 3:1 Napoli (Napoli scored first)
     
  20. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

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    LOL, why is Arsenal so bad in European competition?
     
  21. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

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    They're 11th in the club coefficients for the last four complete seasons and part of this one. If they get a draw hosting Bayern Munich they will tie Chelsea for the best club coefficient by an English club. Being eliminated in the Round of 16 has caused Arsenal's club coefficient to be consistent from season to season. In eight of the last ten seasons (including this one), Arsenal's coefficient has been between 21 and 23. Atletico Madrid had a 13.5428 in 2012-2013 and a 37.600 in 2013-2014. Chelsea had a 20.8500 in 2015-2016 and a 2.3284 so far this season when their only points come from 20 percent of England's country coefficient.
     
  22. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

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    Not sure what the above means, I'd say their consistent exits at the CL round of 16 makes them an underachieving team that fares poorly in Europe.
     
  23. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

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    A club that reaches the Semifinals twice in four seasons and is eliminated in the Group Stage the other two seasons will have their coefficients spread out more than a club that is eliminated in the same round every season.
     
  24. dinamo_zagreb

    dinamo_zagreb Member+

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    To get more weird, their clubs take part in CAF competitions, but national teams stays out. :D

    Also, as it was not mentioned, both African competitions got expanded to 16 teams in group stage (8 teams played in main round in 20 editions of CL and 13 editions of CC). Really entertaining competitions with every team being capable of winning them - shame it's so hard to find streams (of decent quality).
     
  25. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Moderator Staff Member

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    The first round of CAF qualifying is over. Algeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast with casualties while both Mali clubs are out. Also, the CAF CL has a new sponsor. Total has replaced Orange.

    Last night I headed out for a night of sports entertainment and instead ended up with a taste of regional politics. Arriving a bit late at Rashid Stadium for Al Ahli - Esteghlal I encountered closed gates. Seeing plenty of available seats from the metro I was a bit perplexed. After failing the "Arabic test" with the security guards I was turned away. Turns out the Esteghlal guest sector was already packed and security was instructed to turn away all Iranians at other gates. Unlike a guy next to me I didn't have my identity card on me to prove my name and nationality hence I was deemed Persian. I mean, why would a Swiss show up at a game like this? :D

    Apparently Al Ahli won:


    While we are on the subject of Dubai stadium experience, I have given up hope that we will have a CWC game here next year. The venues for the 2019 Asian Cup have been announced and the two Dubai sites are the stadiums for Al Nasr and Al Shabab. Guess the 60,000 stadium that was announced with much fanfare has been put on hold. While the two chosen sites should get some badly needed renovation I think it will be minimal and not good enough for the CWC. In short, the stadium situation in Dubai remains an embarrassment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017 at 2:03 AM
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