Thiago Silva: World Cup qualifying must change – there’s too much wear and tear

thiago silva

The CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying format is too tough on the players, with Thiago Silva keen for an alternative that can aid performance to be found.

In the current program, South American teams play twice in one team in 18 games. The top four teams will qualify for the World Cup, and the fifth-placed team will play the Asian team.

Considering the size of the continent and the fact that most players trade in European clubs, long distances need to be traveled and the game can be played at very different heights and temperatures within just a few days.

Brazilian defender Silva believes change is needed, as FIFA reportedly met with some players to discuss what could be the first format of the 48-team World Cup in 2026.

“It’s not 18 games, but the travel we do. It’s a very long distance compared to the Europeans, who play closely together,” Silva was quoted as saying by Globo Esporte.

“There is a lot of aging, in addition to the climate, which is completely different from what we are used to in Europe.

“The team and I had a hard time training in Teresopolis, which is much colder than Rio de Janeiro [where Brazil played Chile on Thursday]. This could affect performance.

“If we can somehow find a balance in this journey, it will make our living and doing easier.

“It’s really unnecessary dressing up and crying, in my opinion.”

After beating Chile 4-0 in the heat of Rio on Thursday, Brazil play Bolivia more than 3,500 meters above sea level on Tuesday.

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