Premier League’s best XI missing out on new World Cup format

It’s official; FIFA have announced that by 2026, the World Cup will see 48 countries face off for the planet’s greatest title, as opposed to the current 32. Some see it as over-kill, FIFA looking (as they nearly always do) to make more money from more matches and thus cheapening the quality on the international stage for their own profits. For some, it’s the source of joy: what could possibly be better than more football at the highest level?

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We don’t really give a monkey’s actually, there’s pros and cons either way. Whilst 80 matches across 32 days does sound pretty intense, we can already envisage that glorious summer spent stuck to our sofas and glued to our screens. Plenty of tinnies and the boys over for the whole month, with a permanent excuse to hog the remote. What could possibly be better?

In fact, the decision hasn’t been made soon enough for some people. For the stars of 2018, 2026 will likely be the tournament that they’re looking a bit past it. For the 16 countries that will later be included, the decision would have been better made way back in 2008 or so. That way, we’d have the following gems gracing our screens at the highest international level next year. Cheapened quality? What are you on about? This Premier League 11 would definitely have something to say in response to that. Here’s our starting XI that are missing out on 2018’s World Cup thanks to FIFA’s bone-idleness.

NB: We’ve gone for the FIFA World Rankings as our guide for the top 16 teams that would, in theory, miss out on qualification if that’s how the tournament worked.

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So, there they are. The unlucky chaps who’ll have to wait a year or nine to grace the World Cup. Poor fellas. Anyway, we can’t wait for the never-ending 2026 tournament and, keep an eye out; Son for the Golden Boot is our hot tip.