The FIFA World Cup is unquestionably the pinnacle of football. The highly anticipated event in 2022 is less than ten months away, and the vast fandom of over 3.5 billion soccer fans is already buzzing! The event will be hosted by Qatar this time around. The grand opening ceremony is scheduled for November 21st, 2022. The Qatar FIFA men’s world cup will feature 32 international teams and will last 28 days. The closing ceremony is scheduled for December 18, 2022.
Qatar hosting the world cup is not only important to the country but to the Arabic speaking world as a whole. Qatar will be the first country in the region to host the event. The country intends to leave a lasting legacy by highlighting the region’s identity, culture, history, and distinct brand of hospitality.
In another first, the prestigious event will be moved from its usual mid-year summer date to late November. This is due to the scorching heat that the Middle East region experiences during the summer. Nonetheless, preparations are well underway, and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which oversees the grand event’s proper staging, is confident that the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be a spectacle to behold. Even though the world cup is still about a year away, the top contenders list is already taking shape.
Brazil racked up impressive stats during the qualifying stage. They were undefeated with 11 dominant wins in 13 games. Brazil’s national team also has a solid foundation of both experienced and youth players. Brazil is a favourite for the international tournament due to a strong team dynamic. That includes a fearsome forward lineup that includes superstars such as Neymar, Vinicius Jr., and Gabriel Jesus. Anchoring the back end Fabinho, Casemiro with help from Thiago Silva and Marquinhos. They also boast the best goalkeeper duo in the world– Ederson and Alisson. The only area where the elite team falls short is at fullback. Brazil’s track record in recent years has been outstanding, with 50 wins and only five defeats.
France won the World Cup in 2018 and still has a strong national team. They haven’t had the best run in recent competitions, for example, getting knocked out by Switzerland in the 2020 Euros. Regardless, after a dominant run in the last World Cup, France’s team has faith in football manager Deschamps. Some analysts believe that entrusting Didier Deschamps to lead the France team in Qatar 2022 will be akin to Germany’s mistake with Joachim Löw in 2018 after winning the World Cup in 2014. Despite the speculations and chances of the world cup winner curse repeating itself, the French team cannot be written off. They have a fantastic squad depth that includes internationally acclaimed football superstars such as Kylian Mbappé, N’Golo Kanté, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, and many others.
The third contender spot is a tight race between England and Germany. Germany may have more recent dominance, with a world cup victory in 2014. However, England’s depth of young and hungry generational talent gives them a better chance. England was a finalist at Euro 2020/21, and Gareth Southgate has a big statement to make in the upcoming international competitions. The only disadvantage of England’s young team is a lack of experience in some positions. The team’s steady development, on the other hand, is undeniable. The attack is a force to be reckoned with, boasting seasoned forwards such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and many others. The only weak link in the team was the midfield pivot, which has been strengthened by the additions of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips. Gareth Southgate has also been accused of being too cautious, and if he is to make a bold statement in Qatar, he must free his young lions.
Germany has almost always been a threat historically in international football competitions. They are quick to adapt and have a consistent structure. A combination that makes them a constant threat in front of goal. Despite being eliminated by England in Euro 2020/21, the team is already looking different under the direction of sensational coach Hansi Flick. He has reenergized the German team and has them on a roll. The team dominated their qualifier games with a +29 goal difference. Germany’s attack-minded style of play under Flick makes every match exciting to watch. The only weakness is a lack of defensive squad depth. If history is any indication, even the best teams in the world cannot afford to become complacent when facing this German side.
The Parting Shot
This year’s World Cup will go down in history as the final time it will feature 32 national teams. The following 2026 tournament will feature 48 teams and will be held in three countries: the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The World Cup is notoriously unpredictable, and Qatar 2022 will be no exception. It will be exciting to see which underdogs stake their claim and which shock exits occur throughout the tournament.