World Cup: As we are just months away from another edition of football’s greatest international competition, the preparations for players, manager and supporters alike is now beginning to intensify.
When it comes to international football, it gets no bigger than the FIFA World Cup and with it being held only every four years, the anticipation has been building since France won the previous edition of the competition in 2018.
That was the year in which Russia were awarded the rights to host the sport’s biggest party and with 32 nations doing their very best to rule the roost on the international scene, it was Didier Deschamps’
men who eventually came out on top.
While France will be one of 32 nations who are set to duke it out in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar and although the decision to stage the upcoming World Cup here has generated a sizeable amount of debate at times, the Qatari residents will be ready to welcome the game’s very best during November and December of this year.
Ultimately the dream for any international side is to win the World Cup final and be considered the very best footballing nation. However, for some nations the dream can be as simple as just reaching the finals themselves.
France celebrating World Cup win in 2018. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Something that Finland have yet to achieve and although they managed to achieve qualification to the recent European Championships, appearing on the biggest global stage is something that has constantly eluded them, and they will have to wait until 2026 for their next qualification. opportunity. The door to the next Euro still has remained open, however, as Finland’s national team, known as the Huuhkajat, is going for the top position of Nations League 2022-23
, Group B3.
World Cup Qatar 2022 schedule
When Qatar won the decision to host the 2022 football World Cup, there was almost global outrage and although the location was one overriding issue, the scheduling of the competition was also something that caused concern.
Because for the first time ever, the World Cup will not be held in its traditional summer slot and with the winter months of November and December being designated instead, it means competitions such as the Premier League and LaLiga have had to change their own schedules.
However, just because the tournament has changed months from the usual staging posts of June and July, it does not mean that the competition is any less anticipated and now that everyone has got used to the idea of a winter World Cup, preparations are almost just the same as before.
While in terms of the World Cup schedule itself, this year’s tournament will begin on November 21st, as Senegal face the Netherlands, and this will be one of the rare occasions where the hosts are not involved in the opening fixture of the tournament.
However, the hosts’ first foray into the football World Cup in Qatar will not be all that far away and with Ecuador serving as the opposition on November 21st, history will soon be made at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
Of course, this is just the first day in what will be a month-long festival of football and with the final itself being held on December 18th, the two remaining nations will then compete for one of sport’s most prestigious prizes.
Although Italy have once again missed out on qualification for this year’s tournament in Qatar, a whole host of nations have earned an invite to football’s biggest party and with France arriving as the football World Cup 2018 winners, they will soon be looking to defend the trophy they earned four years ago.
Back in 2018. It was Croatia
who fell short at the final hurdle and although they are not necessarily considered one of the world’s superpowers when it comes to football, they will look to make good progress in the competition once again.
While the European giants do not stop there either and with England falling just short in last year’s European Championship plus also reaching the last four of the previous World Cup, they will look to finally end a 56-year international trophy drought.
Then again, it is not just the continent of Europe that has a monopoly on World Cup participation and with both Brazil and Argentina earning an invite to Qatar, they will also be considered as two of the teams to beat.
Not to forget the last three nations that have qualified by virtue of a play-off and with Wales, Australia and Costa Rica also booking their tickets to Qatar, we know now each and every one of the 32 entrants involved.
Top players and managers
With the World Cup being the pinnacle of the global game, it is a tournament which gives a platform to the very best and although Cristiano Ronaldo
and Lionel Messi’s
awesome powers may be fading slightly, they will still be on hand to lead Portugal’s and Argentina’s respective bids for success.
While although these two were undoubtedly the greatest to grace the playing fields in the past decade, the mantle may now be given to a new wave of talents and with Kylian Mbappe
announcing himself to the world’s stage in 2018, he will now look to lead France into battle in 2022.
When it comes to battle, there is no doubt that England’s Harry Kane
will be up for the fight as well and with the Tottenham talisman also looking to better Wayne Rooney’s
scoring record for the Three Lions, there would be no better place than the World Cup to become the nation’s all-time leading goalscorer.
However, it is not just players who will be in the spotlight during the upcoming World Cup and with the some of the very best managers also ready to go to work, the likes of Luis Enrique
and Louis Van Gaal
will soon be ready to achieve what Didier Deschamps
did four years ago.
With the former Juventus and Chelsea midfielder leading France to global supremacy in 2018, the likes of England’s Gareth Southgate
and Brazil’s Tite
will look to do the same when they compete in this winter’s World Cup.
Who will win …
It is easy to ask who will win the World Cup in 2022, it is difficult to find the answer. That’s because there are at least half a dozen leading contenders before the tournament gets underway and although France are the current holders, they are not the current favourites.
A standing which is currently attached to Brazil and although they are the nation which is arguably the most synonymous with the World Cup itself, they have not won the competition since their success over Germany in 2022.
If Tite can lead Brazil to the final and beyond, it would mean that the South American nation have won the competition for a sixth time, and this would further increase their record as the most successful nation in the World Cup’s history.
However, there are plenty of other nations who will feel that they are in with a shout of success and with France not looking to relinquish the trophy anytime soon, they will join the likes of England, Spain, and Germany as genuine contenders.
With the likes of Argentina, Portugal, and the Netherlands also in the frame when it comes to World Cup winners, it is set to be a fascinating tournament and one that thankfully is now only a handful of months away.