Domestic football is officially finished until after Christmas, and with that our attention turns to the World Cup 2022.
With a veritable feast of football awaiting us, we take a look at four contenders to win the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Brazil – 4/1
Brazil are many people’s picks for the tournament and the bookies back them up. As usual, they have a plethora of terrifying attacking talent. As well as that, they have a good defense, which only conceded five goals in 17 World Cup qualifying games. It feels like this team is ready to win and on a sentimental level, many would love to see it. A World-Champion Brazil is a staple of football, and we haven’t witnessed it for 20 years.
Argentina are an excellent team, highlighted by the fact they enter the World Cup 2022 35 games unbeaten. They are in line to break Italy’s world-record 37 unbeaten games in Qatar. It will be Lionel Messi’s last world cup and his best chance to win it. Argentina finally has a team that can work with him rather than rely on him. As well as that, he will play his 1,000th professional game at the World Cup. If he is rested for one game, the final could be his 1,000th. No other team wants to come up against the sheer weight of that narrative.
France are the third-favourites because they are the reigning champions. However as history shows, being the reigning champions is not an advantage. Only one defending champion since 2006 has progressed from the group stage. The triumphant 2018 midfield engine of Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante is absent due to injury. France does have amazing young players, but this one could be too soon for them.
This is it for England, and for Gareth Southgate. When he signed up to be England manager, the goal set by the F.A was to win the World Cup in 2022. They’ve had an appropriate dress rehearsal; reaching the semi finals in 2018 and reaching the final of Euro 2020. All they have to do is use that experience and go one better. However, doubts are beginning to set in around Gareth Southgate. Considering his initial success is a result of the sense of unity he was able to build with the fans and the media, he finds his regime under scrutiny at the worst possible time. This team has proven twice it is good at tournament football, but do they have the momentum to carry them through? We will find out, and Southgate will either die a hero or live long enough to see himself become the villain.