DUBAI On Nov. 22, Saudi Arabia will face Argentina in their first match of the Football World Cup in Qatar. This main player is Lionel Messi’s Argentina. There will be a lure for the players to view the world’s greatest footballer with reverence, with not misplaced awe.
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While near-term up against the two-time world champions and Messi remains an honor, it is questionable that Saudi Arabia’s French coach Herve Renard will allow his players to think of anything beyond getting a result at Lusail Stadium. For Saudi Arabia, this is no time for a lowliness complex. The foremost World Cup held on Arab soil will have a record-equaling four Arab nations, just as in Russia 2018.
Although tens of thousands of fans will be descending on Doha from around the world, for once support for the Arab teams will not be limited to a few flags scattered across the stadia, as has often been the case at preceding tournaments.
Qatar is home to big Arab communities, many of whom come from countries that have not qualified for the Football World Cup but who, it is hoped, will throw their support behind their active neighbors, while thousands more will be predictable to make the short trip from nearby countries, or the slightly longer one from North Africa. Arab teams should, perhaps for the first time at a Football World Cup, be resolutely in the spotlight. More than ever before, Arab players have honest star power.
Qatar’s squad, the regnant Asian champions, is made up of players who have been training from a very young age to take part in this tournament, rolling through Aspire Academy and age group teams for the ultimate goal.
The biosphere’s media outlets, some not always with good intentions, will likely inspect their every move and performance like never before. In Al-Hill’s trio, Salman Al-Faraj, Salem Al-Dasani then Yasser Al-Shahrani Saudi Arabia will have three of Asia’s finest players, as exposed by the leading roles they played in their club’s recent AFC Champions League triumphs. Temporarily, Morocco and Tunisia have for years had squads bolstered by stars who play in some of Europe’s top leagues and who are recognizable to fans around the world.
It is a far cry from some of the previous World Cup participations by Arab nations, which were treated with barely concealed condescension by experts and commentators. Emirati players who took part in the 1990 football World Cup in Italy spoke of the utter lack of knowledge overseas journalists had of the UAE then. Repeatedly, too, teams did themselves no favors, as with Kuwait played in 1982 and Iraq four years later. On the pitch, as off it, those days should be entrusted to the past. Solitary eight Arab teams have reached the World Cup finals since the first tournament took place in 1930: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, Iraq, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
Unusually, until the hosts take on Ecuador in Qatar Football World cup 2022’s opening match on Nov. 20, Saudi Arabia remains the last Arab debs at the Football World Cup. No new team from the region has achieved to qualify since the Green Falcons reached the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the US. Morocco’s players line up behindhand their national flag during the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 quarter-final football match with Egypt in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on January 30, 2022.
This means the Arab world has had to depend on the same clutch of nations to carry their hopes over the last three periods. Worldwide Tickets and Hospitality offer Football World Cup tickets for the Qatar Football World Cup at the best prices. Football fanatics and buy Football World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.
Saudi Arabia went on to play in four more tournaments since their primary appearance, while the North African trio of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia regularly qualify for the finals from the African confederation. With that comes, or should come, the responsibility of performing at a reliably higher level and winning. The novelty of rubbing shoulders with the worlds best is no longer enough.
When Saudi Arabia takes on Messi and his team at the Football World Cup, the odds, not surprisingly, will be stacked against them. But then again, that was too the case on June 29, 1994, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Having previously lost to the Netherlands and beaten Morocco, the Saudi team went into their final group match in contradiction of Belgium, still with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages at their first ever Football World Cup. The bad news was that it was in contradiction to a formidable Belgium team. Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Madan stabs to stop Swedish striker Kenneth Andersson during their World Cup football match on July 3, 1994, in Dallas, Texas.
Only five left minutes into the match, Saudi Arabia’s No. 10 Saeed Al-Owairan conservative the ball deep in his half and boarded on a sensational run that laid left-over to the Belgian defense, before slotting the ball historical the advancing goalkeeper Michel Prud’-homme was instantly one of the most spectacular goals in Football World Cup history, well-intentioned of mention together with Diego Maradona’s legendary run and finish in contradiction of England in Mexico in 1986 and Roberto Baggio’s brilliant solo effort for hosts Italy in contradiction of Czechoslovakia in 1990.
Al-Owairan’s instant of enchanted was enough to secure a famous 1-0 win for Saudi and qualification to the round of 16, where, after a brave exertion in the scorching midday heat of Dallas, they went down 3-1 to eventual semifinalists Sweden. Things would not ever be better for Saudi Arabia at the Qatar football World Cup, despite four following participations, the last of which was four years ago.
It is something that Renard and his players will look to put properly in Qatar. Saudi Arabia’s players carry French coach Herve Renard in festivity after beating Australia in their Qatar World Cup Asian 2022 Qualifiers football match in Jeddah on March 29, 2022. Africa’s Arab nations have all been complicated in memorable World Cup moments as well, though ones that very often ended in heartbreak. The weight of such history can be incapacitating, but the Arab quartet has a chance of changing the story and making their fans proud in Qatar.
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