December 2022

Blog | Who's going to lift the trophy?

By Luca Valetti

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World Cup 2022 is finally here! Is it coming home? The question everyone’s asking is… who’s going to lift the trophy?

With the group stages already having kicked off, from Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina (1-2), Japan turning the tide against Germany (2-1) and Spain clearing their way through Costa Rica (7-0), there has been much delight and disappointment.

Other than the love and support from the fans, one thing all the teams seem to have in common when facing off against each other is knowing anything can happen on that pitch within those 90 minutes. Making sure you don’t allow room for any errors is a crafty challenge. A single step-over, a simple jump or even a slick header can amend the fate of the teams in question.

So far, the favourites to take home the trophy are Brazil. With Neymar and Vini Jr on the frontline, and not to forget the additional endless list of world-class players for Brazil to choose from, it’s hard to argue. There really must be something about that yellow shirt.

France, Spain, Argentina and England are lingering just behind the favourites by no surprise. With France as the defending champions, is it possible for them to uphold the streak by winning twice in a row, which has only ever been done by Italy and Brazil over half a century ago?

One country who should not go unnoticed is England. Cup by cup they have made improvements, just about making it to the final stages. Allowing the Euro 2020 title to slip from their hands gives them good insight into where and what they need to develop. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Aside from the favourites, no World Cup is ever complete without a dark horse. This label goes to Serbia. The country hasn’t made it past the group stage since 1998 but the squad in 2022 appears to be promising. With the likes of Aleksandar Mitrović (Fulham) and Sergej Milinković-Savić (Lazio) in the trenches, and 2-metre giants Vanja Milinković-Savić and Strahinja Pavlović protecting the net, they may prove to be a worthy opponent for whoever faces them.

For now, all we know is it’s time for football. The only thing the world can do at the moment is sit back, relax (hopefully), and appreciate the unity that this sport creates, wherever it goes.

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