July 19, 2024

The World Cup in Qatar 2022 It will be the last chance for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappé returns to the highest stage of football. Y Brazil seeks its sixth title.

One of the most anticipated World Cups in a long time — for what happens off the pitch as much as what happens on it — is just around the corner in Qatar.

Thirty-two 32 teams, 64 games, 29 days of competitions. The first World Cup in the Middle East.

The tournament starts on Sunday, November 20 and the final will be on december 18. And it can be seen on open TV from Chile.

Some of the things to follow in the tournament, to be played at the end of the year instead of June/July, in the smallest venue ever used in a world-scale competition, where even some fans will have to stay in floating hotels.

Neymar vs. Chili

The favorites

Brazil (No. 1 in the FIFA ranking). Neymar, Vinicius Junior and the rest of the Seleçao stars are in great form and are raising hopes of giving the most successful team in history its first title since 2002. It would be the sixth in the history of the most successful team.

Belgium (No.2). The “golden generation” is starting to crack, but it still has Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and a solid team that is hard to beat.

Argentina (No. 3). He hasn’t won a World Cup since the days of Diego Maradona. This will be the first since his death in November 2020 and Argentina arrives with a team on the rise, offering more support than usual to the gravitating Lionel Messi.

France (No. 4). They won the last World Cup and remain perhaps the team with the best squad despite a growing injury list. His attacking duo is phenomenal: Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema. No team has won two titles in a row since Brazil won Sweden 1958 and Chile 1962.

England (No.5). Semi-finalist in the 2018 World Cup, finalist in the 2021 European Championship. Will the cradle of football achieve its second title, first since 1966? He arrives with a streak of six games without winning.

Messi in charge of Argentina, another of the great favorites of the Qatar 2022 World Cup
Messi in charge of Argentina, another of the great favorites of the Qatar 2022 World Cup

the big stars

Leo Messi, Argentina. Seven times the player of the year, Messi, at 35 years old, arrives in tune with what will surely be his last chance to lift a trophy that could well confirm him as the best player in history.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal. The player who has scored the most goals for a national team is also seeking his first world title at the age of 37.

Kylian Mbappe, France. He was the great figure of the last World Cup at just 19 years old. Today he is much more complete than four years ago. Should he win his first two world cups, he would equal something that only Pelé has achieved.

Kevin DeBruyne, Belgium. For many the best midfielder in the world, although with a tendency to get injured. The Belgians cross their fingers so that it reaches the World Cup in its entirety.

Neymar, Brazil. Often in the shadow of Mbappé and Messi at PSG, he remains the great reference for Brazil. Great displays of skill and some melodramas can be expected from him.

How does it work

There are eight groups of four teams. The top two advance to the round of 16, after which the single-match format is used, the loser of which is eliminated.

There will be four matches per day in the first round and there will be no break between that round and the round of 16.

The first day without matches will be December 7, the 17th day of the competition.

Germany vs.  Spain
Germany vs. Spain

Must-see matches from the first phase

Qatar vs. Ecuador, November 20. The first match of the tournament and a must for the fans.

Argentina vs. Mexico, November 26. The first meeting between great continental rivals, in which Messi and Argentina could seal their place in the round of 16.

Spain vs. Germany, November 27. The most attractive match of the first round, worthy of a final, between two former champions and football powerhouses.

Iran vs. USA, November 29th. A duel with a strong political background, between two countries that have not had diplomatic relations since 1980.

Ghana vs. Uruguay, December 2. A repeat of the clash of July 2, 2010 for the quarterfinals, in which Uruguay beat the Africans on penalties after Luis Suárez kept the sky-blue team alive by committing a penalty at the end of regulation time. Ghana did not convert the penalty and a definition was reached from twelve steps, which they lost. For Ghana, a victory would taste like revenge.

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