A final likelihood for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Kylian Mbappé again on the largest stage of all. Brazil bidding for a record-extending sixth title. Some of the eagerly anticipated World Cups in reminiscence — as a lot for off-the-field causes as these on it — begins Sunday in Qatar.
Thirty-two groups, 64 matches, 29 days. The primary World Cup within the Center East. League play world wide has paused and now soccer’s focus is on Qatar, whose nationwide group opens the match with a match in opposition to Ecuador.
Effectively, the reigning champions are wanting like winners at the least __ pic.twitter.com/RCLdJHMaLd
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 14, 2022
Right here are some things to look at when group video games get going within the smallest nation ever to host a World Cup, the place some followers shall be staying in floating inns once they head over to absorb the motion:
Brazil (No. 1 in FIFA rating): Neymar, Vinícius Júnior and the remainder of the flair-filled Selecao are peaking on the proper time. Is a primary World Cup title since 2002 on the horizon?
Belgium (No. 2): The “Golden Technology” is regularly breaking apart however there’s nonetheless Kevin De Bruyne main the Belgian cost. There’s a doubt in regards to the health of Romelu Lukaku, nevertheless.
Argentina (No. 3): No World Cup title because the days of the nice Diego Maradona. This would be the first World Cup since his dying in November 2020 and Argentina has improved underneath coach Lionel Scaloni, with Messi nonetheless at its core and main the group on a 35-match unbeaten run.
France (No. 4): The defending champions. Nonetheless the nation with essentially the most depth to its squad, regardless of an damage listing that features Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante. Now with Mbappé AND Karim Benzema main the assault. No group has retained its World Cup title since Brazil in 1962.
England (No. 5): The group has hit a nasty patch of kind — winless in six video games — however has a powerful observe document in latest main tournaments. England was a semifinalist on the World Cup in 2018 and a finalist on the European Championship in 2021.
Lionel Messi, Argentina: The seven-time world participant of the yr might need been saving his 35-year-old legs for one final push at a World Cup winner’s medal that, to many, would solidify him as soccer’s biggest participant. He’s in stellar kind for Paris Saint-Germain in the intervening time.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal: He has received the European Championship however the main scorer in males’s worldwide soccer hasn’t performed in a World Cup closing, not to mention received one. He’s 37 years previous now and now not first alternative at Manchester United — so benefit from him when you can.
Kylian Mbappé, France: The star of the final World Cup on the age of 19 and he’s solely getting higher. The speedy striker might match Brazil nice Pelé in being a champion at his first two World Cups.
Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium: Broadly considered the world’s finest midfielder, his driving runs and crossing are among the many finest sights in soccer. Belgium shall be grateful he’s arriving in Qatar wholesome.
Neymar, Brazil: Typically overshadowed by Mbappé and Messi at Paris Saint-Germain, nonetheless the principle man for Brazil. Be careful for tips and flicks, and a few histrionics, too.
HOW IT WORKS
Prepare for a feast of soccer. There are eight teams of 4 groups, with the highest two advancing to the 16-team knockout stage.
There shall be 4 video games back-to-back per day — sure, 4! — for many of the first two units of group video games, then simultaneous kickoffs for the final two video games in every group.
There’ll be no break for the knockout stage, which begins the day after the group stage ends. The primary day with out soccer comes on December 7 — the seventeenth day of competitors.
Qatar vs. Ecuador, Sunday: The primary match of the match and at all times a date to save lots of on the calendar.
Argentina vs. Mexico, Nov. 26: The primary of the large continental rivalries within the group stage, with Messi doubtlessly sealing his and Argentina’s spot within the final 16.
Spain vs. Germany, Nov. 27: Absolutely there can’t have been many greater group-stage matches than this at a World Cup – Two latest champions, two giants of European and world soccer.
Iran vs. United States, Nov. 29: It has been labeled as “The Mom of All Video games Half II.” Similar to on the World Cup in 1998, the 2 international locations will meet within the group stage in a politically charged matchup. Diplomatic relations have but to be restored between the nations since being severed in 1980.
Ghana vs. Uruguay, Dec. 2: Anybody keep in mind the evening of July 2, 2010? Within the final minute of additional time in a World Cup quarterfinal match between Uruguay and Ghana, Luis Suarez intentionally stopped the ball along with his hand on the goalline, received despatched off, just for Ghana to overlook the penalty and lose in a shootout as Suarez celebrated on the sideline. Revenge could be candy for Ghana.
FIFA World Cup 2022 TV particulars and Stay Streaming in India
All matches of the FIFA World Cup 2022 shall be telecast LIVE on Sports18 and Sports18 HD channel and the Stay Streaming shall be accessible on Jio Cinemas.
(with PTI inputs)