Ecuador lineup………

Ecuador lineup……

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The Week in Numbers

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Alexandre Lacazette, Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski and many more stars feature in this week’s edition of FIFA.com‘s The Week in Numbers, while a long wait ends in Rotterdam and Madrid.
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New horizons in the development of Mexican football

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  • FEMEXFUT is focusing on women’s football and youth development
  • The Copa MX Femenil was held to launch its new headquarters
  • The FIFA Forward Programme contributed to its development

The year 2017 will go down as a key milestone in the development of Mexican football. Following a period of hard work and meticulous planning, one of most significant steps forward has been the launch of a brand new national women’s football tournament, the Liga MX Femenil.

A dress rehearsal was staged between 3 and 6 May in the form of the Copa MX Femenil. This landmark event, a high-scoring tournament that saw Pachuca crowned champions after defeating Tijuana in the final, was representative of the ambitious project being carried forward by FEMEXFUT at its new headquarters.

“One of the aims that were set when we started building the Nueva Casa del Fútbol, the new home of the Mexican Football Federation and the LIGA MX, was to develop an all-encompassing, state-of-the-art facility for the practice, development and promotion of our sport,” explained Inigo Riestra, Director of International Affairs, to FIFA.com.

Statistics from the Copa MX Femenil:

  • 12 teams took part
  • The competition’s first goal was scored by America’s Daniela Espinosa
  • The most prolific team was Pachuca, who scored 27 goals in four matches
  • The top scorer in the tournament was Pachuca’s Monica Ocampo, with six goals
  • The experienced Mexico international averaged a goal every 31 minutes

Youth football in the spotlight
Since its unveiling in 2016, thanks in part to funding received from the FIFA Forward Football Development Programme to help with the construction of its pitches, FEMEXFUT has been busy making the most of the facilities at its new headquarters in order to propel Mexico’s football development across the board.

With that impressive HQ just over eight hectares in size and boasting an ecological design that harnesses solar energy and recycles part of the water it uses, one of the key aims of the federation’s new mission is to utilise it to develop young talent. In addition to promoting competitions, the organisation is therefore looking to support the training of skilled coaches who will impart the importance of core values to aspiring footballers.

As Riestra said: “The facility, which is undoubtedly up there with the best football federations in the world, boasts five football pitches: three with artificial surfaces, and two with grass. They all meet regulatory standards and each one is equipped with its own dressing rooms.

“The pitches are used by our Academy, which is part of the National Training System. The aim of the former is to contribute to the all-round development of children and young people by teaching basic knowledge of football and promoting values such as inclusion, respect, teamwork and fair play. They are also used for training and practice sessions by our professional referees.”

Key events that have already been held:

  • National team training sessions (men’s and women’s youth teams).
  • Pre-season training for LIGA MX and Ascenso MX clubs.
  • LIGA MX Grassroots Festivals.
  • The Copa Liga MX Femenil 2017 tournament.
  • LIGA MX Under-13 Youth Team tournaments.
  • The finals of the Tercera Division Profesional tournaments.
  • Amateur youth tournaments for various age groups (men’s and women’s).
  • The CONCACAF Programme of Refereeing Excellence.
  • The CONCACAF Under-13 Champions League.

“Projects such as the one developed with the Mexican Football Federation are a clear example of what FIFA Forward Football Development Programme at a global level means and implies”, said Jair Bertoni, FIFA’s Regional Director for the Americas.

“Thanks to FIFA’s financial support for this investment, the FMF now has state-of-the-art facilities where its men’s and women’s national teams can prepare under optimal conditions. We share the FMF’s vision: from the very beginning FIFA believed in the benefits of this infrastructure project. It is therefore only fair to congratulate the Executive and Administration of the FMF. We hope that these good examples can be disseminated in other countries with the help of the FIFA Forward programme.”

Boosting women’s football, also on the agenda

“It’s great for us to see every day these kinds of activities involving children of all ages,” said Decio de Maria, President of FEMEXFUT. “This is a platform for those who start their careers in the non-professional sector, but also for those who already work at the highest professional level and come to this place.
Our commitment is total with the Mexican football family and around the world: to contribute to the growth and development of football in all its facets from these magnificent facilities and spectacular fields that we have built.”

The foundations have been laid and it has been an important year for the development of football in Mexico. As 2018 gets underway, the country’s federation will look to continue sowing the seeds of talent to ensure that Mexican men’s and women’s football will reach their full potential over the coming years.

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Road to FIFA eWorld Cup begins in Barcelona on 26 January!

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The FUT Champions Cup #1 – our first live event on the EA SPORTS™ FIFA 18 Global Series and road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 – is set to take place from 26 to 28 January in Barcelona!

At the three-day tournament 128 FUT Champions competitors  will battle it out to try and secure one of the 16 available seats (eight for PlayStation, eight for Xbox) at the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series Playoffs. The victorious players, who qualified for Barcelona by finishing at the top of the Global Weekend League Leaderboard in November 2017, will meet in the playoffs around June 2018, with the winners feeding directly into the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 Grand Final. 

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Live Streaming

EA SPORTS will be live streaming the full three days of action from Barcelona. Join us on the EA SPORTS Twitch and YouTube channels starting on Friday 26 January at 12pm CET. You can also follow the live stream right here on FIFA.com – official online home to the FIFA eWorld Cup.

Join Spencer and ChuBoi live

Spencer Owen (Spencer FC), Chu Morah (ChuBoi), Jimmy Conrad and 2017 Grand Final commentary team Richard Buckley and Brandon Smith promise to guide you through the action in their usual lively fashion.

EA SPORTS have created a comprehensive Barcelona event overview, including a Global Series hubtournament format breakdown and player roster

Follow EA SPORTS’ extended coverage of Barcelona on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

FRIDAY 26 JANUARY (12:00 – 22:15 CET)

12:00 | Round 1

13:15 | Round 2

14:30 | Round 3

15:45 | Round 4

17:00 | Round 5

18:15 | Round 6

19:30 | Round 7

21:00 | Round of 32

SATURDAY 27 JANUARY (12:00 – 22:00 CET)

12:00 | Round of 16 (PlayStation Games 1 & 2; Xbox Games 1 & 2)

13:15 | Round of 16 (PlayStation Games 3 & 4; Xbox Games 3 & 4)

14:30 | Round of 16 (PlayStation Games 5 & 6; Xbox Games 5 & 6)

15:45 | Round of 16 (PlayStation Games 7 & 8; Xbox Games 7 & 8)

17:00 | Quarter Finals (PlayStation Game 1; Xbox Game 1)

18:15 | Quarter Finals (PlayStation Game 2; Xbox Game 2)

19:30 | Quarter Finals (PlayStation Game 3; Xbox Game 3)

21:00 | Quarter Finals (PlayStation Game 4; Xbox Game 4)

SUNDAY 28 JANUARY

12:00 | PlayStation Semi Final 1

13:15 | Xbox Semi Final 1

14:30 | PlayStation Semi Final 2

15:45 | Xbox Semi Final 2

17:00 | PlayStation Final

18:00 | Xbox Final

19:00 | Break

20:00 | Grand Final

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FIFA President meets world leaders in Davos

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. He took the opportunity to strengthen ties between FIFA and other international organisations. “This summit in Davos is a fantastic platform for sharing our experiences and discussing the changes that we can make to the world we live in. This progress – whether technological, digital, industrial or philosophical – has an impact on football and football, too, has its own role to play,” said the FIFA President.

Speaking with heads of state from three different continents, including the President of Rwanda and 2018 Chairperson of the African Union Paul Kagame, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, President Infantino promoted the role of football in society. During his discussions with the three leaders, he focused on the social and economic aspects of the sport, and the value it can bring to education and health.

The positive discussions point towards future cooperation. “I was greatly encouraged by today’s meetings with President Kagame, President Macri, and Prime Minister Trudeau, that FIFA is well on the right path in the reforms we have initiated, and that this is proof that trust in our organisation has been restored,” said Infantino. “They all acknowledged the social and economic importance of football for development in their countries and regions, as well as the role that FIFA already plays in these aspects of society. In the coming months, we will explore the best ways to cooperate in concrete terms with both the African Union and the G20 in the aim of using football as a vector for development, education, and healthy living. The values of football have a great role to play in modern society.”

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Magill, Northern Ireland’s record-breaker – FIFA.com

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  • Simone Magill scored international goal after 11 seconds
  • Northern Ireland striker made senior international debut at 15
  • Magill and Co next face the Netherlands in France 2019 qualifying 

Eleven seconds. That is all Northern Ireland’s Simone Magill needed to find the net against Georgia in a UEFA EURO 2017 qualifier. Straight after proceedings got under way, Magill sprinted from the centre circle to the opposition’s penalty area before converting team-mate Avilla Bergin’s delivery from close range. The perfect start.

She didn’t know it at the time, but that strike would later see her presented with an award for the fastest-ever goal scored in a women’s international. In the end, however, the match proved to be a bittersweet occasion for the Everton Ladies striker. 

“I didn’t think of how quickly the goal was scored at the time, I was just pleased that we had taken an early lead. It was later that night that my social media started going bonkers and it turned out that it had broken a world record for a women’s international match,” Magill told FIFA.com. “While I scored the goal, it was Avilla who created it – I just had to touch it in.

“It was crazy to think that Northern Ireland were on the world stage for having broken a record. Towards the end of the game, though, I was concussed and ended up being out for five months. I had great staff around me to help me back and I’ve been fine since.”

Magill is something of a Northern Ireland stalwart despite only being 23. The striker, who recently completed a Master’s Degree in Coach Education, made her senior international debut as a 15-year-old in 2010 and is already approaching a half-century of caps. Since making her senior debut as a teenager in high school, Magill has witnessed many changes and developments in the women’s game.

“The thing I’ve noticed the most is how much media attention the game gets now, and it’s still growing,” said Magill. “When I compare it to when I was 15, nobody really knew any of the senior players in the team or who we were playing against. But now it’s different. I think social media is a massive platform for the women’s game in terms of getting that material out there. It’s helped it grow massively.

“Our last home qualifier [Republic of Ireland] was also on TV and that was the first time a women’s game has been on our local television. It was fantastic and it helps grow the game.”

Away to Oranje

Northern Ireland face a daunting task next in FIFA Women’s World Cup™ qualifying as they travel to the Netherlands. The odds will naturally be stacked against Alfie Wylie’s side, who picked up a morale-boosting victory away to Slovakia last time out in the France 2019 preliminaries, as they prepare for the Euro 2017 winners. It is an occasion, however, that Magill and Co are relishing.

“In their opening qualifier, they had a crowd of over 20,000. Most of our girls have never played in front of crowds like that before, so for that alone, it will be a fantastic experience for our team.

“We know they’re the best team in Europe but Republic of Ireland played against them and got a draw. If they can do it, so can we. We’ll approach it with the same preparation that we did against Slovakia. All we can do is give it our all.”

NI’s remaining France 2019 qualifiers
Netherlands v Northern Ireland, 6 April 2018
Northern Ireland v Norway, 10 April 2018
Northern Ireland v Netherlands, 8 June 2018
Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland, 31 August 2018
Northern Ireland v Slovakia, 4 September 2018

Whatever happens against Oranje, Northern Ireland will toast to a successful game with a pre-match espresso, something which has become a matchday ritual for the team in recent times.

“A lot of our team love coffee and when we played in Italy anytime we asked for one, we always got an espresso shot,” Magill explained. “Before that game, we got one for everyone and toasted to a good performance.

“We played well in that game so it became a superstition and we now do it before every match, either before we get on the team coach or before the warm-up. I’m usually the one getting them ready for everyone!”

Whether getting goals or espressos for the Northern Ireland team, Magill will be no doubt be toasting to a shock victory against the Dutch before taking to the pitch in April.

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