It is the year 2002. Ronaldo Nazaro pounced on a poor deflection from German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and put the ball in the goal in front of a boisterous crowd in Yokohama. Twelve minutes later, Ronaldo received the ball close to the penalty area, moved to his right, and then drilled a shot into the bottom corner to double the advantage. Brazil won the FIFA World Cup for a record fifth time as no further goals were scored in the match. This is still the only instance in which a non-European country has won the coveted award more than two decades later.
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It isn’t easy to pinpoint when South America, a continent that had produced some of the most captivating footballers, began to lose ground. It started gradually and ended abruptly. It’s not that they fell behind on the tactical front; some of the world’s best football tacticians are from this area of the planet. Since most elite European clubs now control most of the wealth and influence, it is more of a product of market forces. The European clubs rob the cream of the crop of footballers, managers, scouts, and analysts. This certainly affects the team’s chemistry and cohesion at the most fundamental level.
The World Cup was won alternately by South American and European countries from 1968 through 2022, reflecting the balance of strength between these two continents. The balance was off at the start of the century since the European superpowers would win the following four World Cups. No South American teams made it past the quarterfinals until Italy won in 2006. In the semi-final matchup four years prior, Russia, France, Germany, England, and Croatia secured their places.
Qatar Favors Brazil
Brazil easily overcame all obstacles to earning a spot in this year’s World Cup by winning 14 of their final 17 games. Their most recent loss occurred against Argentina in the Copa America final more than a year ago. Brazilian players have scored 22 goals and given up only two in their last six games. They are not only losing the game, but they are losing it handily.
They have numerous players at every position who are incredibly skillful, so it will be difficult for manager Tite to narrow the field down to the starting XI. The current team is a vast improvement over the one that participated in the previous two tournaments, both in form and on paper. The 30-year-old Neymar still serves as the team’s face, and his comeback in Ligue 1 couldn’t have happened at a better moment.
Neymar is currently the most effective striker in the world, having registered 11 goals and eight assists in 16 games for PSG. He will compete alongside Vinicio Jr., another wonder kid who has captivated the globe with lightning-quick sprints and precise finishes. Additionally, they have Richarlison, Lucas Paqueta, Antony, Gabriel Martinelli, Raphinha, and Raphinha, all of whom are putting their all into their respective teams.
There is a penalty dilemma with multiple players competing for two slots in the middle. Casemiro will certainly start, but it is still unclear who will take over as the second midfielder. Bruno Guianas and Fabiano will be his fiercest rivals. Fred put up a timely reminder with his recent performances, especially his dominating display against Totten ham.
Their lack of experience playing against European opposition is the only cause for concern. Due to travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic, Brazil hasn’t had much opportunity to play against European opponents. However, considering their firepower, one would anticipate they would be prepared for any tactical issue. They are combined with Cameroon, Serbia, and Switzerland.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina’s Last Chance
Lionel Messi’s primary responsibility over most of his successful career was to lead Argentina to another World Cup victory. Then, recently, something changed, and it appears that it is up to the rest of Messi’s teammates to give him the proper sendoff he deserves.
Lionel Scalloni, who accepted the position that several prominent figures turned down, has presided over a significant shift following the 2018 fiasco. By defeating Brazil in the Copa America final last year, Argentina ended their unfortunate trend of losing six tournament finals under his direction. Stallone has also developed a cult following in his nation, with supporters and players giving him unquestioning loyalty.
More first-team equals were hard to come by; nevertheless, he finished his Barcelona occupation, having been introduced only 13 times. Injury-hit invocations at Lazio, Real Betis, Numancia, and Gimnastic were disastrous to catch fire things – and he ended up opening his career in Holland with Go Into the future Eagles in 2012 at just 32. For more to know about Football World Cup Tickets, Click here.
Messi, who is still the squad’s most creative outlet even as his career comes to a close, is the focus of careful team selection to bring out the best in him. He will partner with Julian Alvarez, a youthful striker, and the tenacious Lautaro Martinez.
Angel di Maria’s health is still a concern, but they will be pleased with Enzo Fernandez’s meteoric rise at Benefica. Fernandez quickly adjusted to the needs of his new team, Benfica, and is currently one of the most sought-after players on the market. Giovani Lo Celso, Rodrigo de Paul, and Leandro Paredes bring crucial midfield experience.
After losing to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America semi-final, Argentina embarked on a remarkable 35-match winning streak. They are a step below Brazil and France in squad depth, but their starting XI is the best in the competition.
Is It Time To Put An End To The World Cup’s Host Nation Streak?
Once more, Ecuador is the favourite to win this matchup. The South American team suffered a solitary defeat heading into the competition in 2022. During qualifying for the World Cup, Panama defeated the United States with a score of 3-1. During the calendar year 2022, they had a record of 2-6-1, which includes draws against several notable teams such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Japan. All of these teams will compete in the World Cup in 2022.
Even though Qatar has a record of 7-8-3 thus far in 2022, which may sound encouraging, a number of those victories came in unofficial friendlies against clubs and U-23 sides. The Croatian U-23 team and Linfield, a Northern Ireland Football League club in the middle of the pack, defeated Qatar 1-0 on September 22. These are some unpleasant revelations for a nation that will compete in the World Cup and host it.
Because both teams are currently playing at a high level, the opening match of the 2022 World Cup will likely be won by Ecuador. However, the nation hosting the World Cup has never started with a loss in the tournament’s opening game. Keep in mind that record of 16 wins and no losses. Accordingly, it would appear that regardless of Qatar’s current form, they should receive a boost from the home fans, at least when compared to the examples of other host nations. But does Qatar fare well in its backyard? Do they genuinely benefit from the support of the home crowd?
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