FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be held on November 20. It will be the first time for the World Cup to be held in the Middle East, and it may be the “last dance” of superstars Lionel Messi and Ronaldo in the World Cup. Whether for off-field or on-field reasons, the 2022 World Cup is indeed one of the most eagerly awaited World Cups. Here’s a look at the top five highlights of the tournament.
64 games in 29 days 32 teams compete for the Gold Cup
This year’s Qatar World Cup will feature 32 teams playing 64 matches over 29 days. The tournament kicks off on November 20 and ends on December 18 when the championship is announced.
Brazil (FIFA No. 1): Neymar, Vinicius Junior and other talented players have been geared up to reach their peak immediately, giving Brazil a chance to win its first World Cup since 2002.
Belgium (FIFA No. 2): Even though the “Golden Generation” is on the decline, Belgium has midfield star Kevin DeBruyne to lead the attack, and he proved his ability by leading his team to the best-ever third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Argentina (FIFA No. 3): Argentina has not tasted the joy of winning a World Cup since the late legendary Diego Maradona led the team to its second-ever title in 1986. Lionel Messi is still the soul of the team.
France (FIFA ranking No. 4): No team has defended its World Cup title since Brazil in 1962. France, who won the last World Cup in Russia in 2018, will have to challenge this achievement this time. Although France has a growing number of casualties, the squad is still strong with Mbappe and Karim Benzema leading the way.
England (FIFA No. 5): England has been on a slow run, but they’ve had some good results in recent tournaments, reaching the playoffs at the 2018 World Cup in Russia before falling 0-2 to Belgium in 4th place and reaching the final of the UEFA Nations Cup last year.
Must see stars
Argentina’s Lionel Messi, a seven-time winner of the World Player of the Year award, is looking for his last shot at the World Cup at the age of 35, hoping to lead his team to the title and add to his “Greatest Player in Football” title.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who led Portugal to victory in the European Cup, is the world’s most decorated man in the national team, but his great regret is that he has not led his team to the World Cup final. Now at the age of 37, there is no telling how much longer Cairo will be able to play, so his next appearances will be worth watching.
France’s Kylian Mbappe made a splash at the 2018 World Cup in Russia when he was just 19. The speedy forward has a chance to challenge Brazil’s legendary star Pele, who has won the first two World Cups of his career.
Belgium’s De Bruyne is widely regarded as the best midfielder in the world and his running is considered one of the most beautiful sights on the soccer pitch.
Neymar is often overshadowed by his teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in the PSG squad in Ligue 1, but he is still a mainstay of the Brazilian national team and opponents will have to be wary of his tricks, quick moves and even dodgy tackles.
The teams participating in the World Cup will be divided into 8 groups and the top 4 teams from each group will advance to the round of 16. The round of 16 will be a one-off knockout tournament. There will be four back-to-back matches per day in the group stage, and two matches per day in the Round of 16 knockout stage. The tournament kicks off with a rest day until the 17th day (Dec. 7).
Must see matches
November 20: Qatar vs. Ecuador. The opening match of the World Cup is always the highlight of the World Cup.
November 26: Argentina vs Mexico. Lionel Messi has a chance to lead Argentina to lock up a place in the round of 16.
November 27: Spain vs Germany. This is considered to be the most intense group match of the year, with two European and world soccer powers, Spain, the 2010 World Cup champion in South Africa, and Germany, the 2014 World Cup champion in Brazil, going head-to-head.
November 29: Iran v. United States. The two countries have not restored diplomatic ties since diplomatic relations were severed in 1980.
December 2: Ghana vs. Uruguay: The two teams are deadlocked 1-1 in the regular season of the World Cup Final 8 in South Africa on July 2, 2010. Uruguay’s Luis Suarez got a red card for blocking the ball in front of the extended goal, but Ghana missed a 12-yard penalty kick, and the final drama was won by Uruguay in the PK. This time, Ghana finally got a chance to get revenge after waiting for 12 years.