FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 – A LOOK AT SOUTH AMERICA’S REPRESENTATIVES

The FIFA World Cup is almost upon us as Sunday, 20th November 2022 officially gets the fireworks lit up with yet another exciting footballing festivity upon us. The South American region is known for producing the country with the most wins (Brazil, 5) and collectively the South American region boasts of 9 Trophy wins. Four teams would be keen to play top soccer with the tournament favourites of Argentina and Brazil the most sung name on everyone’s lips. Peru lost the playoffs to Australia and thus missed their slot for Qatar after making the playoffs after coming 5th in the qualifiers. Let’s take a look at all four South American teams as we wait for football’s biggest prize.

  • URUGUAY (LA CELESTE, THE SKY BLUES)

In a greuling encounter between 10 South American nations that saw 18 home and away games played saw Uruguay finish 3rd behind Brazil and Argentina to book their slot to Qatar. 8 wins, 4 draws and 6 losses were more than enough to send them through as the first ever World Cup winners in 1930 look to be at their best for this footballing event.

Uruguay would be playing their thirteen World Cup finale, and have previously reached the second round ten times, the semifinals five times, and the finals twice (winning both in 1930 and 1950). The team has had a hard time finding their feat recently in football’s biggest stage as they have failed to make the semifinals since 2010, they were eliminated in the round of 16 in 2014 and the quarterfinals in 2018 and would hope to do better in 2022 as they seek their first World Cup win since 1950.

Potentially known as the group of death is Uruguay’s Group H that has Euro 2016 Champions – Portugal, one West Africa’s best footballing nations – Ghana and Asia’s best footballing nation – South Korea. Uruguay know they can’t avoid any slip ups if they would wanna go far in this event.

HEAD COACH – Diego Alonso

CAPTAIN – Diego Godin (Velez Sarsfield)

STAR PLAYER(S) – Luis Suarez (Nacional), Edinson Cavani (Valencia CF), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid CF), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool FC), Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Ronald Araujo (FC Barcelona).

PREDICTED FINISH – Quarter-Finals.

  • ECUADOR ( LA TRI/LA TRICOLOUR)

Contrary to expectations of football fans round the globe, Ecuador qualified for the FIFA World Cup Finals 2022 via the league format where they finished fourth behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay leaving the likes of Peru in the playoffs spot and Colombia out of the ticket holders for South America.

This is the only the fourth time ‘La Tri’ would be making the World Cup cut with their first appearance in Korea/Japan seeing them ousted at the group stages. Their best ever finish came in 2006 where they fell 1-0 to England and since then have made two more appearances (2022 inclusive). They head into Qatar with the hope they can at least make it out of their group with the team having the quality to ensure knockout qualification.

Ecuador were drawn in Group A with hosts – Qatar, Africa’s best footballing team and current AFCON holder – Senegal alongside ‘the Oranje’ of Netherlands in what could be an open chance for them. They kick off proceedings with the first match of the season as they clash with tournament hosts – Qatar.

HEAD COACH – Gustavo Alfaro

CAPTAIN – Enner Valencia (Fenerbahce SK)

STAR PLAYER(S) – Enner Valencia (Fenerbahce SK, Pervis Estupinan (Brighton and Hove Albion FC), Moises Caicedo (Brighton and Hove Albion FC), Piero Hincapie (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

PREDICTED FINISH – Group Stages

  • BRAZIL (THE SAMBA BOYS)

Brazil won the 2022 World Cup qualifiers League in emphatic fashion that saw them record no losses and drawing just three games whilst winning the rest. They head into the World Cup in very confident fashion as the World Cup has eluded them for a very long time with 2002 the last time they clinched the trophy.

Brazil’s impeccable record in World Cup history has earned them the title of the most successful team in the competition’s history with Brazil having qualified for every major World Cup event and amassing the most wins of all time in the tournament (109) and having the most trophy wins (9). They come into the World Cup with their eyes set on the trophy and would hope for a major final entry with 2002 their last time in the finals, although they made the 3rd place medal in 2014.

Brazil were drawn in Group G in a group where many would expect them to qualify from without any hitches as the likes of African Giants – Cameroon and European sides – Serbia and Switzerland make up what would surely be a exciting group.

HEAD COACH – Tite

CAPTAIN – Thiago Silva (Chelsea FC).

STAR PLAYER(S) – Neymar Junior (Paris Saint Germain FC), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid CF), Carlos Casimiro (Manchester United FC), Alisson Becker (Liverpool FC)

PREDICTED FINISH – Semi-Finals

  • ARGENTINA (LA ALBICELESTE/THE WHITE AND SKY BLUE)

Argentina finished second in the qualifiers as they qualified for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup in style. They like their arch rivals Brazil went through the qualifiers unbeaten. They qualified for Qatar with multiple games to spare due to their impressive form as they scaled the qualifiers unbeaten and sealing a spot nearly a year before the tournament finals as their unbeaten run stretches to 36 games.

Argentina are the clear favorites to win the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup with most footballing fans backing them to win. They chase their third World Cup win after previous exploits of 1978 and 1986 in what would be their 18th cameo on the World Cup stage. ‘La Albiceleste’ clearly are the team to beat right now with the team having the world’s current active longest unbeaten streak (36 games) with their latest 5-0 win over UAE making sure the record held since 2019 is still on.

Argentina were drawn in Group C alongside Asian giants – Saudi Arabia, European side – Poland and North America’s flair team – Mexico with the team looking to break the current unbeaten record. Now, if Argentina can avoid defeat against Saudi Arabia on November 22 in their opening 2022 World Cup match, Scaloni’s side will have matched the record international unbeaten run set by Italy. The following game against Mexico on November 26 would then potentially be to break the record.

HEAD COACH – Lionel Scaloni

CAPTAIN – Lionel Messi (Paris Saint Germain FC)

STAR PLAYER(S) – Lionel Messi (Paris Saint Germain FC), Angel Di Maria (Juventus FC), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa FC)

PREDICTED FINISH – FINALS

The FIFA 2022 World Cup slated for Qatar kicks off November 20 2022 with South American side Ecuador squaring off with Qatar. Argentina and Brazil are still amongst the clear favorites and there’s a feeling that the World Cup could return to South America this year for the first time since 2002.

🖋 – RIDDLER ZLATAN-HARDIZ 👽

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