Costa Rica took last place in Qatar’s World Cup 2022 with a 1-0 win over New Zealand and eliminated 32 finalists, so who should they watch in the group stage? France will fight to defend their second title in the tournament which starts at Al Thumama Stadium on November 21. Senegal will face the Netherlands in the opening match before England face Iran, then Qatar and Ecuador, and the USA faces Wales.
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Wales booked a flight to the Middle East after beating Ukraine in the UEFA Path a play-off final. Poland also closed out their place in the FIFA World Cup after defeating Sweden in the Path B final and Portugal advanced to North Macedonia and won Path C, unlike Italy. Costa Rica was the last country to qualify for the Qatar World Cup 2022 after defeating New Zealand.
Los Ticos took the lead when they faced Doha on June 14 when Joel Campbell put Luis Fernando Suarez’s side ahead in the third minute. The result saw Costa Rica join Spain, Germany, and Japan in Group E, while Wales joined Group B with England, Iran, and the USA. Portugal is in Group H with Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea and Poland will compete with Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico.
Qatar and Ecuador share the Netherlands with Senegal in Group A, while France will defend their FIFA World Cup title in Group D with Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia. Croatia, who lost in the 2018 final to Russia, are in Group F where they will face Belgium, Canada, and Morocco.
Five-time champion Brazil will be looking for their first title since 2002 in Group G where they will face Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon. So, with all 32 spots now held at the Qatar World Cup 2022, who should one player look for in each nation in the group stage? Almoez Ali will be the one to watch the host country of Qatar during the FIFA World Cup 2022, having set a fine record in international football.
The 25-year-old has scored 36 goals in 76 games, leading his nation to the 2021 Gold Cup semi-finals before losing to the USA. Byron Castillo will strive to show his strength on the world stage as the football world heads to the Middle East. The 23-year-old has enjoyed playing 10 games in Ecuador since he started playing in 2021, and left Ecuador in June to join Leon in Mexico.
Marseille midfielder Pape Gueye will be hoping to excel in Group A with Senegal after playing for the first time in 2021. The 23-year-old exploded on Aliou Cisse’s side and helped win the Africa Cup of Nations in February, and has progressed to the finish line 10-caps so far.
Nea Lang will be one of the players to watch the Netherlands at the Football World Cup in Qatar following her first world title in 2021. Louis van Gaal has caught the 23-year-old in the five-man squad so far, but Lang has scored his first goal against Wales in June. Gareth Southgate handed Jarrod Bowen his first England game in June after West Ham’s impressive reputation. The 25-year-old has scored 18 goals and assisted 13 in all competitions, and now hopes to save his result next season to secure a seat on the flight to Qatar. For more to know about Qatar World Cup tickets Click here.
Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh is the one to watch Iran at the Qatar World Cup 2022 after the 21-year-old’s start in March. The midfielder has demanded international recognition after scoring eight goals in 30 games in the Persian Gulf Pro League and Esteghlal in 2021/22. The first World Cup to be held in the Middle East could be the international construction of Dallas star Jesus Ferreira.
He gives USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter a different and flexible option for the best player in America and has seven goals in 13 games so far. Neco Williams was one of the players under the radar but was instrumental in Wales’ victory over Ukraine. He did not stop covering all the grass containers and made a significant intervention to deny Andriy Yarmolenko. Rob Page will hope the 21-year-old will produce well in Qatar.
Julian Alvarez is one of the favorites on the group stage as Argentina heads to Qatar chasing the first World Cup since 1986. The 22-year-old first appeared at Albiceleste in 2021 and has reached nine games, with his River Plate form seen. Manchester City pay £ 14m in 2022. Firas Al-Buraikan will fight to make his name known to the world and Saudi Arabia in Qatar.
The 22-year-old is yet to play home games away from home. But the striker has shown he can risk an international game with four goals in 15 games. Marcelo Flores is one to watch over in Mexico, as the Arsenal wunderkind continues to establish an international presence. The 18-year-old has played three games since making his debut in December and the midfielder has been a standout performer as the El Tri’s U20s win the 2021 Revelations Cup.
Nicola Zalewski shows wisdom beyond her years at Roman, and will now look to force the way on the Polish team. Jose Mourinho made his 20-year-old debut in the Conference League finals after his 2021 debut, and the five-time jewel made his Bialo-czerwoni bow in September. William Saliba will be watching France during the group stages of the Qatar Football World Cup in Qatar.
The midfielder made his Bleus debut in March as a reward for his good performances in Marseille on loan, where the 21-year-old has shown solid skill in duels and great speed. Rasmus Kristensen is the only Danish player-manager Kasper Hjulmand has started playing with since 2020. The 24-year-old made his Rod-Hvide bow in September and has so far played eight games when he signed a £ 10m move from RB Salzburg to Leeds United this June.
Hannibal Mejbri made his Tunisian debut in June 2021, yet the Manchester United stone has played 16 games. The 19-year-old also enjoyed his Red Devils shot in 2021 and returned to the edge of the first team at Old Trafford under Ralf Rangnick this April. Nathaniel Atkinson won his major transfer to Europe in January with Scottish Premiership team Hearts after a stint at Melbourne City.
The 23-year-old made his international debut in Australia in March and started when the Socceroo beat Peru to win the FIFA World Cup play-offs. Gavi soon becomes more than one to watch, even though the Barcelona midfielder is only 17 years old. He bowed his big Blaugrana in August and finished the 2021/22 season with six assistants in 47 games. The Seville native also made his Spanish debut in 10 games in October. For more to know about Football World Cup tickets Click here.
Luis Enrique has started Gavi in eight Roja games, too, and saw the youngster score his first goal against the Czech Republic in June. It made him the youngest player to ever score a goal, and also play for Spain, after which Enrique stood out and praised Gavi. It’s an erupting volcano, he said, quoting Goal. It is very difficult not to like Gavi. Any fan wants to see him play. You know he picks up everything very fast.
Jamal Musiala also has more than one to watch for Germany, having played 15 games at the age of only 19. The midfielder made the Mannschaft bow last March after strengthening his place in Bayern Munich’s first team, scoring 15 goals and seven goals assists in 78 games. At 25 years old, Kaoru Mitoma is at a different stage of his club career than Gavi and Musiala.
But in the international arena, the Brighton-based striker had to wait until November 2021 to play his first Japanese game and prepare for a time lost by four goals and two assists in seven games. Meanwhile, Daniel Chacon has played international matches in Costa Rica since January 2022. But the 21-year-old has made seven appearances in nine possible games including a Los Ticos qualifier victory against New Zealand.
Roberto Martinez gave Lois Openda his first Belgian game in June and saw the striker score a victory in the Nations League win over Poland. He followed his bow for minutes against Wales and Poland. The 22-year-old played as a prize for scoring 23 goals in 49 games in 2021/22. Taejon Buchanan joined the New England Revolution through the MLS Draft in 2019 and won a $ 7m (£ 6m) transfer to Club Brugge in January.
The 23-year-old’s form also saw the striker play for the first time in Canada last June and has four goals, and six assistants in 24 games. Azzedine Ounahi will be one to watch Morocco at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. The 22-year-old made his international debut in January after playing well in Ligue 1 against SC Angers and has so far scored two goals in seven games in a variety of midfield games.
Borna Sosa emerges as one of the most promising left-backs in the Bundesliga after delivering the fourth cross since the opener (107) in the 2021/22 Stuttgart. However, the 24-year-old had to wait until September to win his Croatian match but has started his six games so far. Gabriel MARTINELLI is already a star at Arsenal, but the 20-year-old could still be considered by Brazil ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
The striker made his debut for Selecao in March and is yet to start an international game with three games under coach Tite. In contrast, Aleksa Terzic is still struggling to prove himself at home to Fiorentina but the 22-year-old is already an international player. Dragan Stojkovic handed the left-handed player his bow and arrow last June and kept the Belgrade-born midfielder in his squad and surrounding areas for five games.
Meanwhile, Jordan Lotomba made his international debut in Switzerland in October 2020. However, the 23-year-old has struggled to stay on the A-Team list for years. Right-back Nice has only seven games left but returned in 2022. As for Cameroon, Christopher Wooh is one of the teams to be considered for the group stage at the Qatar Football World Cup in Qatar.
The 20-year-old made his international debut in June and is set to make his first-team debut with RC Lens after enjoying 11 games starting in 14 Ligue 1 games in 2021/22. Vitinha will be one to watch with Portugal during the group stage of the Qatar World Cup 2022. The 22-year-old enjoyed his first game for the Selecao when his team defeated North Macedonia in the final in March, before earning two more games at the United Nations in June.
Edmund Addo made his Ghana debut in November, and Otto Addo will now rely on FC Sheriff’s midfielder in the Middle East. The 22-year-old has started four of his last eight games so far and has missed only one of the four teams he has likely to play internationally since winning. Manchester United paid Penarol £ 9m to sign Facundo Pellistri in October 2020 at the age of 19.
The winner later joined Deprive Alaves on loan in January 2021 and the 2021/22 season and was impressed with his first Uruguay match in January and the first six games of three assistants. Wooyeong Jeong has played for South Korea at U14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23s and is now embarking on his major career. The 20-year-old Freiburg striker hit the ground running last March but is starting to play a regular role as he gives two goals in six games.
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