The Qatar 2022 World Cup was a long-awaited one that attracted quite a lot of attention. Like any final tournament of the utmost importance for punters, this competition had plenty of attractive moments. From the point of view of the spectators present at the game, I think that the adrenaline, the atmosphere of celebration and party made up for the (often) low quality of the games. For viewers (as I was), perhaps the expectations exceeded the players’ potential. The main actors in the field are in debt in many respects.
It’s very difficult to make comparisons, it seems that impressions are better suited to express the sensations of each match. Because there were no heroes, but there were surprises. Maybe there were no „sure-things”, maybe there were no ploughed matches, but the overall picture is pathetic. There were whole teams that looked like delinquents, gangs of criminals or others resembling cartoon troops. As well, some looked very lost. The reasons are varied and can be interpreted.
Too strong for my taste
Arabian perfumes have strong, strong scents, some even tingle your senses. And the scents of perfumes often manage to cover the accumulated dirt, carefully collected and carefully kept.
The South American teams came accompanied by thousands (even tens of thousands) of supporters. Who danced, chanted, had fun and managed to put the pressure on. See the case of Argentina, a team that has sold its talent at high, high odds. But supporters continued to chant and invoke Diego Armando Maradona.
It is certain that Maradona is dead, the rest is history. Diego turned football into a circus, the circus turned it into a magic story and the story into a religion. The rest…are players, so believers. Some more, some less. Some more talkative, others more gleeful.
From Qatar to the quarter and semi-finals
With proven corruption allegations, protests, and no Italy, the World Cup in Qatar has kicked off. Surprising, with surprises. For some, but not for everyone. Those who bet on Saudi Arabia and/or Japan in the first matches got richer than they were.
After Brazil’s elimination from the competition, Argentina became the main favorite to win the trophy, with odds of less than 3.00, followed by France, Portugal, England, Croatia and Morocco. Messi has 95 national team goals in 170 caps. In the quarter against the Netherlands, he scored the 2,700th goal in World Cup history.
Whatever it is, Argentina has given rise to much discussion at this World Cup. From the defeat to Saudi Arabia to the constant pressure on the referees. And the players’ statements and gestures were often below the acceptable limit.
Without Benzema but with Mbappe and Griezmann in form, the ‘Gallic Rooster’ has confirmed. It sent England home, had a solid game, scored effectively and put on a bit of a show. Without pushing too hard. Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud – a frightening offensive force. A team that can ignore Lloris.
It could be the first national team to retain the world title since Pele’s Brazil in 1962. A team that is easier to bet on than analyze. Because he treated CM with great care, attention and didn’t leave too much to chance.
A show team, full of bright, proactive players. The best team in the world (according to FIFA) came as the main favorite and went home laughing. Vinicius didn’t do his act, Dani Alves failed to samba with the trophy in his arms.
Neymar declared himself “psychologically destroyed” after Croatia won the quarter. Funny statement from a player kissing his own hand after the goal scored in that game. And the images of the Brazilian circus performer touring his colleagues and handing out marshmallows are the delight of this tour. Too bad he’s dirtying Ronaldinho’s shirt.
After each goal, Tite’s players danced on the pitch. They left dancing and kissing each other. However, it remains the only team with 5 titles to its name and the only one to have scored 4 times in a half at this edition (in the match against South Korea through Vinicius Junior (7), Neymar (13 – penalty), Richarlison (29) and Lucas Paqueta (36).
England – always eager, capable, strong and always ready to stumble was the Albion national team. Harry Kane has now equaled Wayne Rooney as England’s all-time top scorers with 53 goals.
Started strong, went through the groups at pace, played at full strength. And Kane shot hard, too hard. Straight into the stand. He was almost there and he was chasing the plane.
Spain – disguised as players, Luis Enrique’s side played calculatedly, with the sole aim of finding their route to the semi-finals. And after the group wins, the Spaniards became infatuated. And Morocco explained to them about penalty roulette. The calculations made were messed up and it all worked out with the plane tickets.
Germany – the definition of failure that blames bad luck. But Germans don’t often invoke luck.
Spain and Germany are out of the group stage after winning world titles in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
The Netherlands – the impossible Clockwork Orange would have liked to get through to the semi-finals relying on a quarterback. They have one big achievement at this edition. The fact that FIFA opened an investigation after the Argentinians won the quarter and taunted the Dutch.
I think Van Basten is sad, van Dik and de Jong are too far from the expectations created around the team.
Belgium – the generation of golden disappointment confirmed at this tournament too. It won against Canada (1-0) and lost against Morocco. Simple and elegant. Bronze medalists four years ago, the team of Hazard, Lukaku, Witsel, De Bruyne, Courtois inspired nothing. Neither could much with paper players.
Denmark – neighbors to the Nordic winter blues, the Danes managed to defy all expectations. The team that dominated France in their last direct encounters was unrecognizable. All the more frustrating for me who had pinned my hopes on 2 expected “surprises”: Denmark and Senegal.
From Qatar to where?
It took years of preparation and controversy. Then followed three weeks of fierce competition, with unexpected results, big or very big surprises, with favorites going home without glory like Germany, Spain, Brazil and Portugal.
“We are living a dream and we don’t want to wake up,” said Paris-born Moroccan international Sofiane Boufal. Surprisingly or not, this year’s surprise national team conceded only one goal until the semi-finals.
And so the Dream (Al Hilm) goes on!
Happy New Year and Lots of Money! From Qatar