In about 24 hours, the biggest event in the world will kick off in Doha, Qatar. The World Cup is the biggest football trophy and players & nations would be hoping to get their hands on the trophy.
The 2022 World Cup is happening mid season unlike previous ones. So, footballing attention would shift away from the various top leagues in the world and the permutations of who wins the world Cup would take center stage.
Before we play in sands of Arabia, I must commend Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table. With 5 points clear at the top, the Gunners would hope to continue their impressive form when the league resumes on boxing day. They would play a mini tournament in Dubai and there are hopes that Emile Smith Rowe will be back.
There is the small distraction of Ronaldo & Manchester United. There is the winter window for clubs to reinforce but the next 6 weeks will be all about the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Unfortunately, Nigeria couldn’t scale the Ghanaian hurdle in qualification. The Super Eagles played a friendly few days ago and were beaten 4-0 by a Ronaldo-less Portugal. It was a lacklustre performance. Could Nigeria have made the world Cup if Rohr wasn’t sacked by the NFF?
Anyways, back to the World Cup – the opening match is between host Qatar and Ecuador. I would be watching the opening ceremony from TV set.
Ghana, Morocco, Cameroon, Tunisia and AFCON champions Senegal will be representing the African continent in Qatar. My hopes were with Senegal but with Sadio Mane out injured, it is unlikely that an African team would qualify from the group stage. Ghana is even the lowest ranked team in the tournament.
Away from Africa, this should be the last big tournament for Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo. Can Messi end his carry with a World Cup trophy? Will it be Ronaldo’s? Would France break the jinx of the defending champions? Who is the dark house? Can Brazil go for glory?
Russia 2018 was fun for me. I was at the Luzhnik stadium when Croatia knocked out England from the World Cup. Which teams would make it to the Lusial Stadium for the semifinals. They would be blessed with my presence.
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Enjoy your world Cup.