Who’s Winning the World Cup?


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The world cup has practically taken over the world. There’s an estimated total of 5 billion viewers added up throughout the games. 64 matches will be played within 29 days, that’s 227 million views a day. This is the first World cup occurring in winter, the final match being less than a week away from Christmas. This is because FIFA moved the event to ease conditions for Qatar’s sweltering heat that can be threatening to the players. The decision to award Qatar hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup has been controversial, including allegations of corruption and human rights violations, since it was first announced 12 years ago. Despite the uniqueness of this tournament, what teams are looking strong? Who has a chance at winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup? 

As the knockout round is in full swing we will start to chip away at the less competitive teams this year and see what nations have a real shot at bringing the Coupe de Monde home. 

France and Brazil are top tier teams in this cup, both have had the same group of players and coaches for a long time. Brazil was announced the top ranked team in the latest FIFA ranking released the 27th of October, while France is hungry to win the title they lifted 4 years ago in Russia. Still, France was knocked out in the Euro’s 21 round of 16s and Brazil’s players have constantly been called out for not being healthy enough to play in a tournament like this. Neymar was injured in the first game of the group stage.

Messi confidently states Brazil and France are favorites to win. However he surely played the humble card. He led his team to win the 2021 Copa America. They nearly tied Italy’s record run without losing a game, 37. Plus Argentina is one of the most betted teams to win it all. But what about the speculations on the story book ending where Argentina faces Portugal in the championship game, hoping the ongoing rivalry with Ronaldo and Messi will end there. Portugal came into the world cup stronger than ever. Of course the infamous Christiano Ronaldo marks an important spot on this team, but there is loads of old and new talent this squad has. Joao Felix is known for his versatility, finishing, creativity and dribbling. Pepe, regarded as one of the best defenders of all time. Bruno Fernandes, a Portuguese player, has scored a goal in every game he played at this world cup. 

Germany had an estimated 3.4% chance of winning, one of the five teams with a whole numbered percent. However there are rumors Spain purposely lost their last game in the group stage to force Germany out of the tournament. Others say they were just giving their starters a chance for a longer break since they are guaranteed to advance no matter the outcome of the game. In fact, despite losing to Japan they still managed to win group E. Before Germany was eliminated, Spain had a 9% chance of winning. Luis Enrique’s return as head coach after a period away following the tragic death of his daughter has reinjected confidence into Spain, with some of their old swagger back, and new game play potential. Any soccer fan can point out Spain has a high level of possession style. They had over 1200 passes against Costa rica. Resulting in 7 goals, the highest goal differential this world cup has. That said, after dominating Morocco but failing to find the net, Spain was eliminated by Pks. An unfortunate way to leave the tournament especially after such a promising match. 

There are only 8 Countries who hold a world cup title. Brazil have won five times, Germany and Italy, with four titles each; Argentina, France, and Uruguay, with two titles each; and England and Spain, with one title each. An obvious pattern within these countries is, they are all very wealthy and developed. No third world country has ever come close to winning. The biggest reason is because players chose to represent their nationality not their ethnicity. They want to win. That said, this year there has been a surprise in game outcomes. These third world countries surely made their mark even if they got eliminated. Tunisia beating France had the world in a choke hold. Morocco is the only African country that advanced to the quarter finals. They are the 4th African country to ever advance that far.