Players gripped by injury fear as World Cup draws near
For countries like Austria, Germany, and Argentina it’s been a long, arduous journey. For Ireland it is the start of a new season.
The 2017 FIFA World Cup in Russia is a massive fixture for world football, with four of the five games taking place in Europe between May 14 and June 11, and six of the 10 qualifying games taking place in the same period.
The tournament is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal in FIFA’s 109-year history, with three of the five finals in Russia, including the knockout stage, being played at football’s biggest event.
As the tournament draws closer, UEFA will be looking for improvements, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin saying they will be watching the tournament, and also the competition at this level, very closely.
“In this period of time when we are in the middle of the championship and the Euro on our agenda, the football world will be scrutinizing the World Cup and the Euro for very interesting developments,” he said.
“We will be scrutinizing the games and the results. It will be interesting to see how the clubs in the different countries perform in the different competitions. Also we will be analyzing the progress of new players, who go through a long period of transition.
“We will have good, long-term perspective. We have some time to observe what is happening.
“The players are very, very excited. This is a unique moment in the history of football. The competition is unique and at this moment, and the way the clubs are reacting to the competition, we are very, very happy with that.”
He added: “I am confident that at the end of the competition, we will have seen the best out of the players. In the last World Cup in Brazil, we were among the top 5 in World Cup history. The way we have played during the World Cups, especially the last two, has been very, very memorable for our fans, for our players and for our