The 2022 World Cup will be unlike any other tournament before it. However, there’s still a chance that a familiar name could end up on the trophy, with Brazil heading to Qatar as the favorite.
As the favorite, Brazil will be playing Qatar. Should they win, this would be their first world cup victory since 2002. When Japan and South Korea hosted, they lost 7-1 in the quarter-final match against Germany.
Qatar will be hosting the first-ever World Cup in the Middle East, which promises to be unlike any before. Brazil is currently the favorite to win, having recently won the Confederations Cup with a 7-1 demolition of Germany.
However, for the last decade, most mentions of Qatar. And the World Cup has focused on its controversial decision to get the venue and criticize human rights violations.
Thus, little attention has been paid to what might happen on the pitch between the opening night on November 20. And on December 18, Qatar’s 80,000-capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium hosts the final.
Although the club season in Europe is ongoing, most of the players participating in Qatar will come from there. Most of these players will come from the richest teams in Europe. So those teams will have to hold off on signing new players for only a week before the World Cup.
While Qatar might have been a possibility for 2022, the searing desert heat at that time of year made it impossible.
However, scheduling has been an ongoing challenge, and national teams are limited to less than two weeks of preparation.
There will be very few friendly matches before the World Cup tournament begins. Many players will participate in a match with their club teams and then join their country’s team. And they might be thrown right into a significant game a few days later.
However, it remains notable that only once (in 1958, when Brazil competed in the World Cup) has a team comprised of players. Those not born in Europe managed to win the tournament on European soil.
Out of the 10 World Cups outside Europe, European teams have only been able to win twice — in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.
As the birthplace of soccer, Europe has a storied legacy as the international powerhouse in the sport. The last World Cup champion was from Europe in 2002, so they have been undefeated for 16 years.
France is the current World Cup champion after winning the tournament in Russia in 2018. But there are worries for Les Bleus as they head to Qatar as the titleholders.
In 2002, when France was the reigning European champions. And went to South Korea as holders; they were one of two teams not to score a goal, crashing out in the group stage.
Kylian Mbappe is a talented player and one of the most entertaining footballers in the world. With 19-year-old Mbappe, France has a future superstar and Karim Benzema, who recently won the Ballon d’Or award.
The last soccer team to win the World Cup was Brazil in 1962. And to make matters worse for France, coach Didier Deschamps will be missing key midfield duo N’golo Kante and Paul Pogba due to injury.
There are concerns about Europe’s traditional powerhouses. Such as Italy, which failed to qualify for the World Cup, despite winning Euro 2020.
It’s still too early to say whether or not England will be a contender. Germany may be an excellent all-round team, but fitness and form are in question.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo will be there, but at this age, some wonder if he may have trouble with the pace of the tournament.
Brazil will be tough to beat, given their formidable squad with a flair for the dramatic. Argentina is also in excellent shape heading into the tournament.
Argentina has gone undefeated for 35 games and will be in line to meet Brazil in the semi-finals if both teams win first place in their groups.
The 35-year-old superstar from Paris Saint-Germain said, “I am lucky to be able to go to this World Cup” when interviewed by Spanish media. He’s been in great form for his club this season.
“I am in better physical shape than last year,” he added in a recent interview with DirecTV Sports, an Argentinian channel.