Jamie Carragher: 'World Cup is dying'

Carragher: 'World Cup is dying'
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Jamie Carragher feels that the "dying" World Cup could be saved if it is staged in the winter.

Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher has insisted that the World Cup is "dying".

The 35-year-old, who retired at the end of last season, believes that one of the major reasons behind his viewpoint is the fact that club football is now more important to supporters.

"The World Cup is football's greatest prize but the competition is dying. Summer tournaments have become tedious and rarely live up to expectations now. They are preceded by qualifiers that, in the main, invariably fail to generate interest. International football simply cannot compete with the club game," he wrote in the Daily Mail.

"What would you be more excited about watching: Spain versus France or Spain's champions (Barcelona) against France's champions (Paris Saint-Germain)?
I would say the vast majority would go with the club collision every time."

However, Carragher, who played 38 times for England, has claimed that moving the World Cup to the winter, which has been suggested for Qatar in 2022, could reignite interest in the competition.

"It needs saving and the way to do that might be with a winter tournament. There has been outrage about the prospect of the 2022 World Cup being staged in the middle of a domestic campaign," he added. "The circumstances may be extraordinary due to the extreme heat of a Qatar summer, but if it is a success do not be surprised if FIFA pushes for this to become the norm.

"There is a clear reason why World Cups fail to generate the same excitement as they once did. Players are going to them when they are close to being physically exhausted and mentally burnt out after the rigours of a club campaign.

"Think about it. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo deserve mentioning alongside football's all-time greats but neither has dominated a tournament in the way Diego Maradona did in 1986. Fatigue has clearly played a part. If they played at a winter tournament both would be guaranteed to be in peak condition.

"I remember my own experience of being at a World Cup. When England went to Germany in 2006, my season started on July 13, 2005. I played 70 games that year. By the time England took on Portugal in the quarter-finals in Gelsenkirchen on July 1, I was almost on my knees."

The majority of the final round of qualifiers for next year's installment in Brazil will be played on Tuesday evening.

Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand celebrates the latter's winning goal for Manchester United against Swansea City in May 2013.
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