The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in the Middle east, as Qatar hosts the rest of the world in the biggest sporting showpiece on the planet. We’re just over five months away from the start of the Mundial, which runs from the 21st of November to the 18th of December, 2022. Senegal and the Netherlands will begin the festivities, while hosts Qatar begin their campaign against Ecuador later that day.
It promises to be an exciting showpiece, and all nations will definitely be keen to win it. There are favorites of course; big names like France, Germany, Spain etc will be expected to go the distance. But in my opinion, the biggest favorites for the World Cup are none other than Argentina.
The Albiceleste are the current Champion of South America, winning the Copa America trophy that had eluded them for 28 years. They are currently the most in form team in the world, unbeaten in 33 games since they last lost to Brazil 2-0 in the 2019 Copa America semifinal. They have a technically sound and tactically dynamic manager in Lionel Scaloni, a hungry Lionel Messi, and a talented squad that are ready to give their all for their talisman. They’re playing some of the best football they’ve ever played, and are in imperious form after spanking Estonia 5-0 in their last friendly game, just days after thrashing European Champions Italy 3-0 in La Finalissima.
In short, they look unstoppable.
And I really do think they will go all the way in Qatar. Looking at the form of the other top nations, I would say that the only team that can stop this Argentina side is Brazil.
The Selecao, just like their bitter South American rivals, are in really good form. They’ve got an abundance of talent and are also blessed with a sound manager like Tite, who has them playing some really good football. They actually played Argentina recently in the 2021 Copa America final, and although they lost 1-0, it was an evenly matched contest which could’ve gone either way. They have just as much a chance of winning the Mundial, and I think they are the only team capable of stopping Argentina.
What about the European giants, you may ask?
Germany are far too inconsistent. Sure, they’ve been unbeaten for a while under Hansi Flick, but a lot of those games were draws against teams they should be beating comfortably. Spain look to have regressed from their superb form which saw them each the semifinals of Euro 2020, while Belgium have shown time and again that despite their abundance of talent, they lack the mentality to go the distance.
France, Portugal and England are three teams that should be favorable contenders for the trophy, but they all have one common problem; poor coaching. Didier Deschamps, Fernando Santos and Gareth Southgate are simply not good enough to properly manage the array of talent they have at their disposal. Yes, they have achieved some huge feats with their respective teams; Deschamps won the last world cup with France, Santos won Euro 2016 with Portugal and Southgate reached the final of Euro 2020 with England.
But a proper look at these feats show that they were mostly due to luck and individual quality, rather than any spectacular display of tactical ability by the managers. The disgraceful performances of England and France in the Nations League this month is further proof that Southgate and Deschamps are out of their depth. Portugal fared better, but their performances were not entirely convincing and their struggles whenever Ronaldo was absent are not a good sign. With the talent in that Portuguese squad, they should not be depending on Ronaldo for results.
I’ve closely monitored the big nations from all the continents, especially Europe and South America. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Albiceleste of Argentina look the most prepared for this world cup, and only the Selecao of Brazil can stop them from laying their hands on the trophy.