2022 Qatar: A preview of the upcoming World Cup

The Spanish national team are heading towards another golden generation, with stars like Pedri Gonzalez, Aymeric Laporte and Thiago Alcantara likely to bring success. With the the experience and leadership of head coach Luis Enrique, the Spanish fans should have every right to be excited.

It’s the year of the World Cup again. Although there’s still some time for the tournament to kick off, the World Cup fever is slowly starting to kick in. With several new teams and the usual contenders, let’s take a look at some categories to look out for.

Dark Horse: Uruguay

The two-time World Cup champions have always been an exciting team to watch, and are definitely going to be a team that the big dogs should keep an eye out for. Automatically qualifying through the CONMEBOL qualifiers, and finishing third only behind giants Brazil and Argentina is an impressive feat.

Even though veteran strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani offer immense quality and experience up top, their injury problems have led to Manchester United linked wonderkid Darwin Nunez stepping up. The young striker has notched up 26 goals in 27 league games, averaging a goal every 75 minutes, one of the best across the European leagues. The fans will also be looking forward to watching center-back Ronald Araujo, midfield duo Rodrigo Bentacur and Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde and hope that they can continue their fine club form through the World Cup.

Having been following Bentacur since his January move, Tottenham fan, senior Arel Moav has high hopes, “He’s shown he can be a quality player, but he still needs more experience to hit his potential. I’m interested to see what he does for Uruguay in the World Cup”, Moav said.

Although the national team may not be filled entirely with stars, the squad balance Uruguay possess is impeccable, having a great mix of leadership and youth energy in every position.
Being drawn in a group alongside Portugal, Ghana and South Korea, Uruguay can be very confident of finishing top of the group and potentially head to the knockout stages undefeated.
Having not reached the finals in their last six international tournaments and not having won a trophy for over 11 years, Uruguay will have the extra desire to do well this time around. If all goes according to plan, expect at least a quarter-final finish from La Celeste.

Favorites: Spain

After a strong performance in the Euros, Spain is tipped to make a strong run for the 2022 World Cup. This time around they are following back-to-back disappointments in 2014 and 2018, with less external pressure but plenty of expectations from fans back home. With a new generation of silky skillers, the Spanish are tipped to make a dynastic comeback and potentially even rule the world of soccer for several years to come. With rebounding confidence and a comprehensive blueprint for success, the Spanish could just land a second star on their shirt.
As junior Pablo Foley analyzed, “We have young studs and plenty of solid strikers. In the euros, we passed very well but I want to see the finishing. The playmakers are definitely there and we have young and old talent.”

Underperformers: France

As the defending champions, France would naturally seem to be a favorite to retain their crown, especially considering their squad is not yet aged and they have the two best players in the world in Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe.

However, junior Chris Tamaro believes that the French, “likely get knocked out in the round of 16 and don’t finish any higher than the quarterfinals because of the World Cup curse.”

The legend of the “World Cup curse,” a curse that has caused the champions of the world to exit early for the next edition of the tournament. As the Soccer webpage GOAL explains, 4 of the last 5 reigning World Cup champions exited in the first round of the following World Cup.

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