THE FINAL SHOWPIECE

by Kyle Williams | Nov 17, 2022 | General | 0 comments

The World Cup Trophy via Getty Images
32 teams fighting for one trophy and one goal. The greatest show on Earth will be held in the winter for the first time and in Qatar of all places. With the splitting or pausing of the major leagues in the world, this World Cup may not be as exciting as it is pent up to be. Players missing through injury such as Christopher Nkunku, Paul Pogba, and to an extent Sadio Mane, there is a considerable loss of talent, not to mention European Champions Italy not there.

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.

Vinicius Jr, Lucas Paqueta, and Neymar via The Associated Press
Led by superstar Neymar, Brazil is one of the favorites for the showpiece displaying one of the deepest squads and talent for days. Evaluating the squad, there is little to no weak spot on that Brazilian roster. Wing talent in Vinicius Jr., Rodrygo, Antony, and Raphina to name a few, and defenders Thiago Silva, Marquihnos, Bremer, and Eder Militao, the quality is endless.

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.

French National team celebrating the 2018 triumph via BBC
Underdogs are always loved by an audience and the World Cup produces dark horses every tournament as was Iceland last time out. In 2022, the teams who are not favorites but close to being are Uruguay, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Belgium spent quite a while as the number one ranked country even without winning anything, Uruguay always produces iconic performances, and that trend is expected to continue this time around and the Netherlands MUST win at least a 3rd place medal to justify playing with the big nations.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could play their final World Cup (image via Goal)

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.

 

PREDICTIONS:

Winner: Brazil

Runners-Up: Portugal

3rd Place: Argentina

Surprise: Portugal

Disappointment: England

Golden Boot: Benzema

Golden Ball: Neymar

Young Player: Jamal Musiala

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Well, I am 18 years old currently undergoing my Bachelors of Science in Media and communications. I'm currently in my first semester and I would like to be a sports analyst in the future. I am also from Jamaica. I would like to work at one of the biggest sports companies in the world (ESPN/SKY/BT) but everyone needs a start and I would love it if you were to give me that start.

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