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Newcastle’s St James’ Park is the frontrunner to host the inaugural Over 35s World Cup in June after organisers held positive talks with the Premier League club and local council

St James’ Park is leading the way to host the first Over-35s World Cup in June.

Mail Sport revealed earlier this month that there were plans to hold a new tournament in England this summer featuring some of the game’s biggest names.

And we understand that Newcastle has become the city of choice to host all seven matches after the competition’s organisers, the Elite Player Group, held positive discussions with the Premier League club and the city council.

According to the proposals, the tournament will feature teams from the eight former FIFA World Cup winners: England, Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay.

Players must be 35 years or older and be restricted by their country or have played 100 times at the highest level.

St James’ Park is leading the way to host the first Over-35s World Cup in June

Newcastle has emerged as the favorite city to host all seven matches after positive talks were held by competition organizers

Newcastle has emerged as the favorite city to host all seven matches after positive talks were held by competition organizers

Ex-Barcelona and Brazilian star Ronaldinho will be one of the headline acts at this summer's 'Over-35 World Cup'

Ex-Barcelona and Brazilian star Ronaldinho will be one of the headline acts at this summer’s ‘Over-35 World Cup’

The captains are Steve McManaman (England), Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina), Emerson (Brazil), Christian Karembeu (France), Kevin Kuranyi (Germany), Marco Materazzi (Italy), Michel Salgado (Spain) and Diego Lugano (Uruguay).

The teams so far

England: David James; Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole; Joe Cole, Frank Lampard; Steve McManaman (C), Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen

Brazil: Roberto Carlos, Cafu; Emerson (C), Kaka; Ronaldinho, Rivaldo

France: Marcel Desailly; Christian Karembeu (C), Thierry Henry

Argentina: Pablo Zabaleta; Esteban Cambiasso (C); Hernan Crespo

Spain: Carles Puyol, Michel Salgado (C); David villa

Germany: Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil; Kevin Kuranyi (C)

Italy: Marco Materazzi (C), Fabio Cannavaro; Francesco Totti

Uruguay: Diego Lugano (C); Diego Forlan

The full 18-man roster has yet to be finalized. But sources have previously indicated that the preliminary lists include five former Ballon d’Or winners: Brazil’s Kaka, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro and England’s Michael Owen.

Thierry Henry, Hernan Crespo, Roberto Carlos, Mesut Ozil, Carlus Puyol, Francesco Totti and Rio Ferdinand are some of the other names reportedly in line to play.

“We think this will be a milestone in football history,” EPG president Matias Sarasola told Mail Sport. ‘Never before have 144 of these types of former players been present at the same tournament at one event. It’s like the trophy of trophies.’

Sarasola said the EPG has spoken to a number of Premier League clubs about hosting the tournament. However, Mail Sport understands they are now in advanced talks about signing Newcastle’s St James’ Park, although contracts have yet to be signed.

Under the proposed schedule, the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held on three dates in the first week of June, with the final to be played on June 11 or 12.

“England created this sport and we wanted to launch the new category here too,” said Sarasola, a media entrepreneur from Argentina with a background in television.

‘We want full stadiums, so we will try to charge the lowest possible ticket price. We would like to give the whole city the opportunity to go there. We want to make it as inclusive as possible.’

As per the proposed schedule, the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held on three dates in the first week of June

According to the proposed schedule, the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be spread over three dates in the first week of June

Eight teams will compete in the EPG Cup in England in June, the location of which is yet to be determined (David Villa photo)

Eight teams will compete in the EPG Cup in England in June, the location of which is yet to be determined (David Villa photo)

Old England teammates Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand will help form a strong backbone

Old England teammates Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand will help form a strong backbone

The EPG plans to make the tournament an annual event and wants to invite more teams than just the eight former World Cup champions for future competitions.

“We are starting with this event, but we would like to grow,” Sarasola said. ‘Tennis and golf have senior or master categories and that is what we create.

‘We want to extend the professional life of a footballer. It’s to give them a chance to continue to compete.

‘The most important thing is that they all want to play for glory. When I’ve been to former players, they say they want to play again, but not just in a practice match. They want to play to win.”

Sarasola is ‘completely’ confident that big names will sign up and says it has already received ‘many offers’ from television companies to broadcast the tournament.

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid favorite Steve McManaman will captain England

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid favorite Steve McManaman will captain England

The matches are 11 versus 11, but last more than 70 minutes and use rolling substitutes.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has been asked to lead a team of officials and there will be no VAR.

There are also ambitions to microphone players on the pitch and broadcast live GPS and heart rate data, and to use smart footballs.

“We would like to include all innovations from around the world to enhance the audience experience,” Sarasola added.