Silver Road and Golden Stripes, Yet Another Football TL

Introduction
Early 1955
An emergency meeting of FIFA is called, as the success of WC 1954 just came in. Most members want a more regular World Cup that would truly represent the best team in the world, while teams could prepare towards the next WC in four years time.
It was then that Gabriel Hanot, editor of french journal L'Equipe, who recently saw his proposition of an inter-european club competition shot down, proposed the format for an inter-country competition, with home and away legs, which would promote competition between the top teams of the world and let rookies shine if the main squad could not make it. The plan was good, however it required several logistical constraints which meant it could not be applied until October 1955, date of the first League of Nations tournament, which would have its finals in Paris for its first edition.
The participants of this first ever Nations League would be:
Hungary, West Germany, England, Austria, Yugoslavia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Scotland, France and Belgium for Europe
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay for South America
Taiwan for Asia
The winner would eventually be awarded a golden stripe instead of the golden star on its federation border.

Short Intro, but you get the gist of it, the UEFA Champions League/European Cup is replaced by a Nations League with the same format. The idea is a bit far-fetched, but I thought it could be fun playing with.
 
Round of 16 1955-56
The first edition of the Football Nations League would therefore kick off in October of 1955. In order to reduce transport time, South American and European squads were put on opposite sides of the bracket, with Taiwan being placed with European squads. The South American side of the bracket went relatively smoothly for both favorites, Brazil and Argentina, who would cruise on to beat their opponents Uruguay and Paraguay. Argentina suffered a misstep in Montevideo however, losing to the Uruguayan side by one goal with no big consequences. The Quarter-Final against Brazil would prove to be explosive.
On the European side of the bracket, things were much more complicated. Both Italy and Yugoslavia would find their matchups very difficult, with Italy drawing Spain in Barcelona while Yugoslavia only managed to hold a 1-0 victory against Sweden in Zagreb. The second leg would prove fatal to both teams, with Italy being much more solid and taking down Spain in Milan, while Sweden would shock the world by beating Yugoslavia, widely considered to be a dark horse of the tournament.
Scotland also proved to be quite the team. While no one really put them to beat Austria, the Scottish side proved to be much more resilient than expected, beating Austria both in Vienna and in Glasgow, securing a Quarter-Final spot. On the other hand, England didn't show the greatest of faces despite an easy matchup against France, who had been laminated at the previous WC. Despite a win at Wembley, the English team sunk with all hands at the Parc des Princes, conceding a gigantic 4-0 defeat against the Kopa-led french team.
Hungary didn't need much effort to beat Taiwan (who played its return leg in Damascus), however favorites West Germany didn't look especially good going into their match against Belgium, although they were indeed able to beat the Belgians twice.
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Brazil face off against Paraguay in Asuncion


Austria runs for goal during their 5-2 home defeat to Scotland

QF Matchups:
Argentina v Brazil
Scotland v Spain
Sweden v France
Hungary v West Germany
(Bracket Order)
 
May I suggest that Taiwan rotates from time to time from Europe to America to be equally trashed and abused by all? x'D
Well I think this might have been their only shot at the competition ^^

Would this have promotion/relegation perhaps similar to OTL Davis Cup? (Well before they ruined it this year)
Right now the format is by FIFA invitation only (teams can decline the invitation), but with the appearance of the World Ranking in 1962, only the top 16/24/32 teams (depending on format) will participate, although another tournament for "lesser-known" nations will be created in 1972.
 
Quarter-Finals 1955-56
There were two South American teams before quarter-finals, and there will be only one moving on to the semi-finals. The Argentina v Brazil match proved to be a big event in South America to show who was actually the best in the continent. Indeed Argentina had chosen not to take part in WC 1954, while Brazil did not go to Copa America 1955, a tournament that Argentina won. Tension was therefore high in Buenos Aires for the opening leg, and both teams wanted to prove superiority, with star argentinian player Micheli's two goals being answered by one for Julinho and one for Didi. The 2-2 draw in Buenos Aires advantaged Brazil, but Argentinian fans felt confident they could win in RIo. However, this was not to be and Brazil won by 2 goals to secure their spot in the semi finals. The Brazilians would then have to face against Scotland, who after holding Spain to a 1-0 defeat in Glasgow, managed to score a decisive goal in Madrid that would send them to the semi-finals on away goals, the first team to do so in Nations League history.
The Sweden vs France matchup was not as hyped as its opposing bracket match, however it was an undecisive one, with neither team really being above the other. However France would not be able to get a win at home in Lille, as Sweden just suffocates them, and France would not be able to repeat the Swedish feat in Stockholm, sending Sweden to the semi-finals. The second matchup however, was the remake of the 1954 WC final, and people were excited to see if the "Miracle of Bern" was actually a miracle. Hungary kicked things off in Budapest by defying Germany and holding on to their 2-0 lead for once, clinging to the victory. In Munich, Germany did not manage to bring back the fire of Bern and left the pitch on a goalless draw.
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Didi in action against Argentina


Puskas and Kocsis celebrate their second goal against West Germany
 
Semi-Finals 1955-56
The Semi-Finals would be spaced slighlty further apart to accomodate the Brazilian and Scottish squads moving towards each country. For the first time, Brazil would play an international tournament game in Natal to cut travel time with Scotland, but it would still not benefit the Scottish who fall against a much more organised Brazilian squad. Scotland would be able to get a draw in Hampden Park though, saving face and exiting the tournament with their heads held high.
For Hungary versus Sweden, it wouldn't be even remotely close, the Swedes getting swept both times against the World Cup finalists who headed straight towards the final in Paris.
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Scottish players in action at Hampden Park


Still from the return leg of Sweden-Hungary, in Budapest

Edit: For the curious ones, the finals of the next editions will be: Lima (1957), Stockholm (1958), Chicago (1959) and Paris again (1960).
 
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Really interesting Wings! Keep on please! I doubt Brazil at that Time could be able to beat Argentina that way...( After 1958, yes), but this is a very good idea of TL
 
Really interesting Wings! Keep on please! I doubt Brazil at that Time could be able to beat Argentina that way...( After 1958, yes), but this is a very good idea of TL
From what I've read in the archives, the matchup would have been fairly close, but I'll keep your advice in mind for the next edition !
 
Final 1955-56
The long awaited final came to end the 1955-56 season, and Hungary came into the match with a clear advantage over Brazil. Brazil would try for a new miracle of Bern in Paris, however this would not be the case, with Hungary absolutely dominating the field in the first half. However, Brazil's staunch defending would halt the Hungarian advance until Puskas finally opened the scoreline. It was then an easy road for Hungary in the second half, who scored two against Brazil, sealing the Brazilian fate. Didi would be able to score one in return in the end, but it would not be enough to prevent Puskas and Kocsis from getting their first ever international title. This would also be the last, as the Hungarian Uprising would soon shatter the Hungarian squad, a mere ten days later...

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Hungary and Brazil in action at the Parc des Princes


Signed Photograph of Ferenc Puskas with the Nations League trophy following the final
 
1955-56 Stats & 56-57 Intro
Nations League 1955-56
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Winners: Hungary - 1st Title

Top Scorer: Kocsis (HUN) - 12 goals
Participants: Argentina (1), Uruguay (1), Brazil (1), Paraguay (1), Austria (1), Scotland (1), Italy (1), Spain (1), Yugoslavia (1), Sweden (1), England (1), France (1), Hungary (1), Taiwan (1), West Germany (1), Belgium (1)

1956-57 Participants:
Europe: Hungary, West Germany, England, Yugoslavia, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Scotland & Sweden
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay & Peru
Asia: Taiwan

Final Location: Lima, Peru
Bracket Order:
Argentina v Paraguay
Brazil v Peru
Uruguay v Taiwan
England v Scotland
Austria v France
Hungary v Italy
Yugoslavia v Spain
West Germany v Sweden
 
Round of 16 1956-57
The Round of 16 of the second edition of the Nations League started in South America, with both Argentina and Brazil potentially meeting in Quarters due to their position in the bracket. Argentina were thirsty for revenge against Brazil and made sure there was no chance for Paraguay, slamming them in Mendoza. Their reserve would then also go on to easily handle Paraguay in Asuncion, although in a much closer matchup. Peru were also eager to prove themselves, with the final being at home in Lima, however Brazil would never give them even the slightest of chances and would advance to face Argentina once more.
Uruguay were quite glad that they didn't have to face either of the South American monsters, and instead had an easy time destroying Taiwan at home and away. The real fight on this side of the bracket was the big clash between rivals Scotland and England. After last year's defeat at the hands of France, England were thirsty for revenge, and easily dismantled Scotland at Wembley, completely overrunning the scottish defense in what was thought ot be a close match. Scotland suddenly found themselves needing to win by 3 at Hampden Park to make it out, but it was not to be, and England snatched a quarter-final spot by drawing the Scots in Glasgow.
The European side of the bracket was quite interesting, as after the collapse of the 1954 Hungarian squad due to the Hungarian Revolution, no team had a clear advantage over the others. France started off the bottom side of the bracket by beating Austria in Vienna, and then once more at home in Marseilles. Hungary on the other hand still had some of the 1954 touch in them, but their team had been stripped bare. They managed to get a difficult win off of Italy and draw in Milan, but passing through France would be a much more difficult feat to pull off.
Spain would prove the world that they are a force to be contended with in Europe, as Yugoslavia is taken aback in both their games, with Spain winning the home game, and drawing in Albania (both matches were played on neutral ground due to the relations between the two states). Meanwhile, 1954 WC winners West Germany did manage to get a win off of Sweden in West Berlin, beating the Swedes 3-2, however they would be taken aback as they fall to the Swedes in Gothenburg by a single goal, yet that single goal would prove to be fatal to the Germans who would go home on away goals.
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Still from England v Scotland in Wembley


The Swedish squad poses for a photo before their qualifying match against West Germany
 
Quarter-Finals 1956-57
As the Quarter-Finals approached, the clash between Argentina and Brazil showed itself once more, with more or less the same squads from last year's matches. Once more Argentina were the first to host the Quarter-Final, however although they did lead 2-0, with another two goals scored by Didi to come back to 2-2, this time Argentina managed to dominate the game sufficiently to be able to score one last goal before the end of the game. However, this would still advantage Brazil who needed only to win 1-0 to advance. In the Estadio Maracana, this exact scenario happened, as Brazil scored early and had the game in their hands. However Argentina proved to be much more methodical and patient than a year before, and managed to score right after the second half, never losing the advantage from then on and qualifying for the Semi-Finals. Another south american squad would also find success, and that would be Uruguay. Due to the bracket layout, they avoided both Argentina and Brazil and instead had to face England. After a tiring journey to Montevideo, England were in no shape to contest the victory to Uruguay, who won 3-1. However, England did expect the same advantage for them in Wembley but it was not to be, as Uruguay fought hard and ended up taking the game 3-2, qualifying themselves to face Argentina.
On the continental side of the bracket, France versus Hungary was a long anticipated match, as France had shown growth since their last encounter with the Hungarians. This time, Hungary looked lost without their main players, and fell hard in Paris, losing 6-2. The return in Budapest would give them some hope as they led the game 2-0, however France were once more quick to react and equalized, before taking the lead. Hungary barely managed to salvage a draw, but were nevertheless eliminated. There was much less contest in the clash between Spain and Sweden, as Sweden was completely rinced in Barcelona, with Di Stefano scoring two for Spain, enabling his squad to take the win 3-1. Sweden would not fall down too hard and ended up still taking a draw in Solna, but had to let Spain go through to face France in the semi-finals.
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Still from the Argentina v Brazil first leg in Buenos Aires


Still from Spain v Sweden first leg at Barcelona's Camp Nou.
 
Semi-Finals 1956-57
The Semi-Finals of the 1957 edition were highly anticipated as being quite close, in both the South American and European brackets. Argentina were the first to recieve their opponents, Uruguay, in Buenos Aires. The Argentines opened the scoreline but were quickly matched by Uruguay. The Albiceleste did manage to score one more, however it would be it, and Uruguay found themselves in a good position at Estadio Centenario. However, the Uruguayans failed to score a single goal against the argentinians, who make it out with a 0-0 draw and qualify for the final.
In Europe, France would be content with their home leg, managing to hold the Spaniards to a 1-1 draw in the Parc des Princes. However, they would be quickly run over by the Gento and Di Stefano-led Spanish squad, losing by two goals despite an early score opener by star striker Just Fontaine. Spain would therefore move on to the final.
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Gento in action against France
 
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