2022 FIFA World Cup
With less than 2 months to go until the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup, things are heating up. Fans have waited longer than usual for the football showpiece to begin this year. A November start is necessitated due to the extreme heat experienced in the Middle East.
Host nation Qatar has pulled out all the stops in order to ensure the tournament is a success. The real unknown is which teams will end up in contention for the iconic winner’s trophy. With this also probably the final world cup for both Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Portugal and Argentina will be hoping for success. A win for either would be the icing on the cake of two glittering careers. A host of other teams would prefer success in their own right. Players across the globe hope to be in peak form once the competition begins. Time is running out slowly for those who have struggled in recent times. Success at the World Cup is a dream for every player, and the next few weeks will be integral in everyone’s preparation. What will the 2022 FIFA World Cup have in store?
A first for the Middle East
Qatar hosts the 2022 football World Cup. With the inaugural event taking place in Uruguay in 1930, this year’s edition will be the 22nd running of the event. A first for the Middle East, Qatar has high hopes for this year’s competition. Even with a ‘Winter’ season start due to the heat in the region, the stadiums will all be air conditioned. Thus, ensuring the thousands of travelling fans remain comfortable throughout. Another feat is that all eight stadiums hosting games are within close proximity to one another. So much so that fans could realistically for the first time watch 2-3 live games in a day.
Following the success of the 2018 edition in Russia, Qatar has big shoes to fill. With some bad press around the various stadium construction, ‘sportswashing’ claims and the fact that various liberties will be restricted for fans due to the local law/ beliefs, Qatar will hope this can be dealt with tactfully as the kick-off date fast approaches. There is no reason that the 2022 event cannot be the best yet if the fans feel at home.
Who is in and who is out?
Qualification for the World Cup is never without drama. The 2022 edition has been no different. The big losers (and for the second time in a row) are Italy. The 4-time winners failed to qualify. After a shock loss to North Macedonia in the qualifiers, Italy’s destiny had been written. Considering they won Euro 2020 makes this even more of a shock. One country’s loss is another’s gain. Wales are one of the success stories. They again find themselves in the pool stages of a football World Cup. This is their first attendance since 1958, and as such will be a special one for the Welsh.
Other teams notable by their absence are African powerhouses Nigeria and Egypt. From South America Chile, Colombia and Peru miss out. New Zealand are also unlucky to miss the cut, losing out to Costa Rica.
The rest of the usual suspects are all present.
Odds for 2022 FIFA World Cup
Defending champions France are the second favourite team behind Brazil according to Bet365. England and Argentina are both tied third favourites. The 5-time champions Brazil last won in 2002. 20 years is a long time, and the Brazilians will want to make sure they do not have to wait another 4 years to challenge for the title. With a stacked squad, there is no reason the class of 2022 cannot repeat the 2002 success of Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, and Co.
2018 winners France are a strong bet for this year’s event. Many key players from their successful campaign in Russia are still in the fold. Talisman Kylian Mbappe, still only 23 years old will have a big part to play in this team. The French challenge should be one of note.
England, the 2020 Euro runners-up are still looking for a second World Cup title. Always in the shadow of the winning 1966 team, the English will be desperate to go all the way this year. If they have recovered from the heartbreak of their penalty shootout loss to Italy in the Euros, they have the youth and experience to be serious contenders.
Argentina were the 2021 Copa America winners. Another good bet for the World Cup! Lionel Messi is looking to emulate the late great Diego Maradona and add the winner’s trophy to his list of achievements. With their last win coming in 1986, the Argentinians have endured a lean spell in recent times.
The build up to 2022 FIFA World Cup
The World Cup kicks off on November the 20th. As a result, the various football leagues world over, and especially the English Premier League (EPL) must fit in more games than usual in this period. With the cup final taking place on the 18th of December, the EPL essentially has a month off. When the league resumes over the Christmas period, the schedule will again be full. One thing for sure is that the football world is in for one bumper season. With the kit reveals having recently taken place, excitement is building for the world’s greatest event. As November nears, the hopes and dreams of all players will have one focus and one focus only: success at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
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