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Out now: World Soccer February 2024

Jamie Evans
Jamie Evans

The latest issue of World Soccer is now available to buy online and in shops

From the editor

In the last issue of World Soccer we looked back over the events of 2023, so it feels only natural that this time we should look ahead to 2024.

It is a year filled with both excitement and trepidation. On the one hand, we have four continental championships to take in (the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup this month, and Euro 2024 and the Copa America this summer), as well as a number of exciting domestic stories unfolding across Europe. On the other, football’s leaders, administrators and decision-makers continue to exasperate and infuriate supporters, coaches and players, with revised Champions League and Club World Cup formats on the horizon, not to mention renewed plans for a European Super League. Keir Radnedge and Nick Bidwell both take a look at all of these topics and more in their previews of 2024.

One thing that we can be sure of is that a new generation of superstars are just waiting to emerge, and we’ve selected 50 of the standout candidates to make a name for themselves in 2024. Picking out the talents of tomorrow has long been a World Soccer speciality, so make sure you remember the names.

We’ve also shone an extra spotlight on Liverpool superstar Trent Alexander-Arnold, who continues to be at the forefront of Jurgen Klopp’s evolution of the team this season. If the Reds — and, perhaps, England — are to be successful in 2024, he will have a big say.

Amidst all this crystal-ball gazing, there’s still room for a look back. Samindra Kunti was in Saudi Arabia to watch Manchester City lift the Club World Cup, Tim Vickery and Joel Richards tell the stories of South America’s 2023 domestic leagues — with particular focus on Brazil and Argentina — and Mark Gleeson and John Duerden provide updates from the African and Asian Champions Leagues.

Jamie Evans, Assistant Editor

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THE WORLD THIS MONTH
4 In pictures
11 The month in numbers
14 Keir Radnedge The burning issues for 2024
16 Jonathan Wilson Barcelona’s repeating cycle
17 Reports we couldn’t make up
18 Ins & outs
19 In Numbers
20 European competition draws

21 ESM XI

EYEWITNESS
22 Brazil The downfall of Santos
26 Canada Cavalry FC

FEATURES
30 CONCACAF Champions Cup Preview of new-look competition
34 Spotlight on Mali Africa’s nearly men
38 Spotlight on Trent Alexander-Arnold
Reinventing the Liverpool right-back
45 Football’s 50 wonderkids

58 Preview of 2024 The big stories before they happen

INTERVIEWS
64 Face to Face Roberto “Pico” Lopes
66 Face to Face Chris Hughton
98 My Biggest Game Nolberto Solano

WOMEN’S FOOTBALL
68 UEFA Champions League revamp

WORLD SERVICE
74 Saudi Arabia Club World Cup review
76 Brazilian National championship review
78 Argentina Copa de la Liga Profesional review
80 South America Domestic leagues review
82 Mexico LigaMX Apertura review
84 Africa Champions League group stage update
86 Asia Champions League group stage review
88 Venezuela South America’s Olympic qualifiers
90 Solomon Islands Pacific Games review

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