Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea icons to take on Ronaldinho and co in new World Cup | Football | Sport

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The tournament will reportedly consist of all eight teams to win the World Cup. England will take on Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay in what will be known as the Elite Players Group (EPG) Cup.

A group of former players and sport businessmen joined forces last year to create the EPG. Its founders will captain the teams in the tournament, the Daily Mail claims.

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder McManaman will reportedly lead out the England team. The other captains are Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina), Emerson (Brazil), Christian Karembeu (France), Kevin Kuranyi (Germany), Marco Materazzi (Italy), Michel Salgado (Spain) and Diego Lugano (Uruguay).

The proposals for the tournament say that only players over the age of 35 can take part. They must have won a cap for their country or at least made 100 appearances in a top-flight league.

Provisional squads circulated already include a host of world-class talent. Brazilian trio Ronaldinho, Kaka and Rivaldo are all reportedly set to feature.

England will have Michael Owen on their side, with Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, David James, Frank Lampard and Robbie Fowler reportedly also pencilled in. Germany’s Mesut Ozil, who turned 35 in October, will be among the youngest players at the tournament.

Francesco Totti will lead the line for Italy, and Spain will have former Barcelona stars Carles Puyol and David Villa – key figures in their 2010 World Cup triumph. Meanwhile, 1998 World Cup winners Thierry Henry and Marcel Desailly will play for France.

Organisers have just four months to finalise plans, although they are reportedly confident that they can pull the tournament together. Stadiums in the north of England have reportedly been targeted, with a date eyed between the Champions League final on June 1 and the June 14 commencement of Euro 2024.

Eighteen-man squads will reportedly be confirmed in due course. Matches will be 11-a-side but will be played over 70 minutes rather than the usual 90. Teams can use roll-on, roll-off substitutions to ensure their players stay fresh.

It is reported that the quarter-finals are scheduled to be played on June 4 and June 5. Both semi-finals will take place on June 8 before the final on June 11.



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