Nevertheless, the usual suspects are participating with the likes of Brazil looking to finally reclaim the pinnacle of international football, France looking to defend their title won in 2018, and possibly the final World Cup tournament for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with a chance of these greats meeting in the final. Brazil head into the tournament as the number-one ranked team based on the latest FIFA rankings.
Four years ago this time, you could not change my mind that France would not repeat as world champions, but now they are not as good as they were back then. “Les Bleus” led by the young player of the tournament last time out, Kylian Mbappe, might need a miracle just to make the Quarter Finals. Yes, the additions of William Saliba, Ibrahima Konate, and Aurelien Tchouameni have been welcome, but replacing the caliber of players such as Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, and prime Samuel Umtiti makes the task much more difficult.
With all happiness and enjoyment comes sadness and disappointment. This tournament could be the last time we witness some of the greats of this generation. It could be the end for Cristiano Ronaldo (38 y/o), Lionel Messi (35 y/o), Sergio Busquets (34 y/o), Thomas Muller (33 y/o), and Guillermo Ochoa (37 y/o). This might be the last dance.
3rd Place: Argentina
Golden Boot: Benzema
Golden Ball: Neymar
Young Player: Jamal Musiala