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Jose Mourinho favours 48-team World Cup

Jose Mourinho favours 48-team World Cup

- Jose Mourinho believes the 48-team World Cup will profit smaller teams

- The Man Utd boss wants critics to understand that the format will protect players

- The competition would be of 16 groups of three teams each from the 2026 edition

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has supported FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

Speaking to FIFA.com, the Portuguese games three reasons why the World Cup expansion would be favourable.

Jose Mourinho favours 48-team World Cup

Jose Mourinho

It was announced on Tuesday that the proposal of 16 groups of three teams from the 2026 tournament onwards has been approved by the FIFA Council.

Mourinho believes the expansion means players would be protected, they would be greater cultural integration and smaller teams will gain experience.

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He told FIFA.com: "I'm totally in favour. As a club manager, if the expansion meant more games, less holidays and less pre-season for players, I would say no.

"But it's important for critics to analyse and understand that expansion doesn't mean more matches. Players are protected and clubs are protected in this way.

"I prefer groups of three. Two matches and then through to the knockout stages or go home. This way, the two group matches are crucial, then the knockout stage is next which brings even more emotion.

"Teams with less potential and experience will probably play two matches and go home. But they would do so having improved and gained experience on the pitch, which would be added to the economic rewards of appearing at the finals - including further investment in their footballing infrastructure.

"The expansion means that the World Cup will be even more of an incredible social event. More countries, more investment in different countries in infrastructure, in youth football.

"More nations taking part means more passion, more happiness, more enthusiasm. More countries means more Africans, Asians, Americans together.

"Football is developed in the clubs, so we can't expect football to explode in terms of quality at a World Cup. The World Cup is a social event and football can't relinquish this opportunity to further reflect fans' passion."

Germany are the current World Cup holders having won the tournament in Brazil, beating Argentina in the final.

The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games.

The tournament will be completed within 32 days - a measure to appease European clubs, who objected to reform because of a crowded international schedule.

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