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 By Tim Vickery

Brazil, Argentina fight for one U-20 World Cup spot after uneven showing

Brazil and Argentina drew to leave them reliant on other results if they're to reach the U-20 World Cup.

So it is down to the big two as the South American Under-20 Championships moves towards Saturday's final round. Uruguay have qualified for this year's U-20 World Cup, scheduled for South Korea at the end of May. Hosts Ecuador and Venezuela are virtually assured of joining them, leaving one slot available for either Brazil or Argentina.

That is the consequence of Wednesday's 2-2 draw between the old rivals. It must have been one of the poorest games played at any level between these continent's...

 By Tim Vickery

48-team World Cup could negatively affect South American qualifying

Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop join Outside the Lines and have their say at FIFA expanding the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

On the website of CONMEBOL, the South American Confederation, there is an article entitled: "From 13 teams in Uruguay 1930 to 48 in the 2026 World Cup."

It is a neat way of reminding everyone of one of the great trump cards of the South American game: its fabulous tradition. This is the continent where the World Cup began and which has won nine versions of the tournament, divided between Brazil (five wins) and Uruguay and Argentina (two apiece).

The big three has provided Barcelona with the "MSN"...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: World Cup expansion is approved, Ronaldo is FIFA Best Player

The FC crew voice concerns over a 48-nation format.

Here are the latest stories for Tuesday.

WORLD CUP: The FIFA Council has unanimously approved plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026 onwards, opting for a group stage format of 16 groups of three nations.

- The president of the German Football Association (DFB) has said he is "not happy" after the FIFA Council rubber-stamped plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams, adding 16 nations, in 2026.

FIFA: Cristiano Ronaldo said winning FIFA's Best Men's Player for 2016 "shows...

 By Chris Wright

Argentina legend Diego Maradona dancing on treadmill

Having suffered from his fair share of health problems over the years, it's good to see that Argentina legend Diego Maradona is starting to take his general fitness seriously again at the age of 56.

Being filmed pounding away on his treadmill, Maradona quickly decides that some suitable workout music is required.

It then takes roughly five seconds for him to get distracted as his daily exercise quickly turns from a brisk jog to a walk to a passionate (but almost stationary) rumba.

There's never...

 By Sam Kelly

Lionel Messi and Argentina's media boycott is a recurring theme

Lionel Messi and his teammates announced they will no longer speak with the press going forward following their win over Colombia.

A good performance and, above all, a superb reaction to the disappointing loss against Brazil, brought a 3-0 victory for Argentina against Colombia on Tuesday night. 

However, almost as soon as the game was over, the sports pages were dominated by the Argentina squad's decision that all 26 players would attend the news conference, while Lionel Messi, as captain, told the assembled press the players wouldn't be talking to them until further notice following claims made against striker Ezequiel...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Argentina, Netherlands, Japan and Ghana in danger of missing World Cup

With 12 months to go before we know the 31 teams who will join hosts Russia at the 2018 World Cup, we take a look at some of the major nations and familiar names who appear to have a battle on their hands to make the finals.

Argentina and Chile

Argentina's 3-0 defeat in Brazil last week left them facing a huge crisis in their qualification bid. However, victory at home to Colombia on Tuesday averted this for now, as at least that win left them fifth and that offers a playoff against the winners of...