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 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"...

By ESPN Staff

Former Paraguay, New York Cosmos striker Roberto Cabanas dies at 55

Roberto Cabanas starred for the New York Cosmos in the 1980s

Former Paraguay striker Roberto Cabanas died on Monday in Asuncion. He was 55.

Valerio Cabanas, the brother of the deceased, said the cause of death was a heart attack.

Cabanas, a member of Paraguay's 1986 World Cup team, played for local club Cerro Porteno before becoming a regular with the New York Cosmos in the early 1980s.

He also played for French clubs Brest and Lyon, Colombia's America, and Argentina's Boca Juniors.

 By Tim Vickery

Echoes of Sebastian Abreu as Juan Manuel Iturbe makes his 10th move

Two late goals from Juventus sealed their come-from-behind victory over Torino.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains why Joe Hart won't move to Liverpool in January, and why he is skeptical of a future move.
Juan Manuel Iturbe
Torino is the eighth club that Juan Manuel Iturbe has played for in his short career.

Last week veteran Uruguayan centre-forward Sebastian Abreu was proudly presented at his latest club -- Bangu, a small but traditional outfit on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

The move to Brazil is the 28th of his career, which has taken him to a total of 23 clubs in nine countries. At the age of 40, this will surely be one of his last moves.

But even as Abreu trades El Salvador for Brazil, a player is emerging in Italy who could end up challenging Abreu's statistics. Paraguayan striker Juan Manuel...

Atlanta United completes signing of Paraguay star Miguel Almiron

Miguel Almiron, right, played for Paraguay at the Copa America last summer.

Atlanta United completed the signing of Lanus midfielder Miguel Almiron on Monday.

The MLS expansion club will pay a transfer fee of around $8 million to the Argentina club, according to multiple league sources, after initial reports had pegged Almiron's fee as high as $13 million.

Almiron signed a Young Designated Player contract after acquiring the right of first refusal from the Seattle Sounders in exchange for general allocation money.

The 22-year-old plays as an attacking or left-sided midfielder....

Paraguay's Roque Santa Cruz retiring from international competition

Roque Santa Cruz has 32 goals for over the course of his international career.

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz says he's retiring from international football.

The 35-year-old forward announced on Tuesday that he will leave the national team after the World Cup qualifiers against Peru on Thursday in Asuncion and Bolivia next Tuesday in La Paz.

Santa Cruz began his career at Olimpia in the Paraguayan capital. He also played for Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Real Betis, Malaga and Mexico's Cruz Azul, before returning to Olimpia this...