There is nothing quite like the World Cup in football. It brings together all corners of the globe for the quadrennial tournament. This year’s edition will be a little different for many, as it is the first to take place in winter in the northern hemisphere. Here is a look at the leading contenders to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy on the 17th of December at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Brazil have climbed back up to the number one spot in the FIFA world rankings, a position they have held frequently since the standings were introduced. The five-time World Cup winners are considered by many pundits to be the team to beat in Qatar.
Who else but Neymar would be Ligue 1’s Player of the Month for August 🤪 pic.twitter.com/K6yAEfEf15
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 22, 2022
The South American team has not suffered defeat since losing the final of Copa America in 2021. They went down 1-0 to rivals Argentina in that game. Since then, they have won 10 out of their 13 matches. As this article about sports streaming suggests, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to be one of the world’s most streamed events as fans take to their search engines. Fans of Brazil will be tuning in hoping to see their team lift the trophy for the sixth time in their history. Google trends also reveal interesting information about which team fans will search for streams for, with Liverpool coming at the top of the list.
After success in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, France are the defending champions this year. They beat Croatia 4-2 in a spectacular final four years ago. Since then, it has been a mixed period for Les Bleus.
Didier Deschamps’ side could not reach further than the last 16 at Euro 2020. However, they did prevail in the second edition of the UEFA Nations League in 2018, beating Spain 2-1 in the final in Milan. The 1998 and 2018 winners have a strong squad that includes the hottest striker in the world right now, Karim Benzema. With the Real Madrid striker in their starting XI, they will be a match for any team in the competition.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup represents one of the last chances for Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ of players to win a major tournament. The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Axel Witsel have been expected to deliver some silverware for their country, but so far, they have just fallen short.
Belgium are ranked second in FIFA’s rankings. Due to their consistency, they held the top spot for several years. Roberto Martinez’s side are considered one of the leading teams from Europe at the tournament in Qatar.
As winners of the Copa America and Finalissima, Argentina go into this year’s World Cup with high hopes. They have had some excellent results over the leading teams in the world across the last 12 months.
PSG and Argentina forward Lionel Messi wins the 2021 Ballon d’Or to the best men's soccer player in the world for 2021. Messi wins the award for a record-extending 7th time.
He won his first major trophy for Argentina this summer as the Copa América player of the tournament. pic.twitter.com/smtHVu0etB
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 29, 2021
In six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, Argentina have one of the greatest players of all time. The PSG forward helped his country reach the final in 2014, but they were beaten by Germany. He will hope to inspire them to one place better this time around. This year’s World Cup has the potential to be one of the best in history as it is wide open, with eight or nine countries all in with a great chance of coming out on top.