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World Cup 2022: Itemizing 50 causes to be excited for Qatar

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By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports activities Soccer Author

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is now simply 100 days away, and the joy surrounding the event is beginning to really feel palpable.

Listed here are 50 issues, in no specific order, that we’re wanting ahead to or hoping to see when play begins in Qatar, beginning Nov. 20. 

1. Christian Eriksen to steal the present

An on-field coronary heart assault throughout final summer time’s Euros almost value the Danish midfielder his life, however Eriksen made a full restoration and is now again atop his sport. He is additionally the centerpiece of essentially the most gifted Denmark World Cup entry in many years, one able to making a deep run.

2. Can Mexico lastly win a knockout sport? 

El Tri has survived the group stage and superior to the second spherical at seven straight tournaments. Seven straight occasions, Mexico misplaced their first knockout sport. Will both streak finish in Qatar? 

3. Younger USMNT to advance to quarterfinals

Attending to Qatar was Job 1 after the USMNT did not qualify for 2018. Advancing is now the objective for the youngest workforce within the subject. Christian Pulisic & Co are aiming quite a bit increased, however reaching the final eight for the primary time since 2002 can be a smashing success.

Christian Pulisic seems forward to the World Cup

USMNT star Christian Pulisic talks with Doug McIntyre about his expertise at Chelsea, preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the U.S. Ladies’s Nationwide workforce going for a three-peat, and extra!

4. Lionel Messi to carry the World Cup 

Not like in 2018, the revamped Albiceleste is able to profitable all of it this time. That may be some swansong for the GOAT; at 35, it is absolutely Messi’s ultimate activate the worldwide stage.   

5. Cristiano Ronaldo to show again the clock  

Few gamers have a greater sense of event than CR7. Even at 37, do not be stunned if the Portuguese celebrity manages to muster just a few weeks of magic at his final World Cup.  

6. Germany to contend for the title 

Die Mannschaft has lots to show after going three-and-out as defending champs 4 years in the past.  

7. Senegal to make historical past 

No African workforce has reached a World Cup semifinal. Headlined by Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane, the Lions of Teranga have the very best likelihood of any of the continent’s entries this 12 months.

8. Christian Pulisic to grow to be a family identify  

The USMNT frontman was speculated to grow to be a mainstream darling in his residence nation in 2018. He needed to wait 4 years, however that point is coming in November.

9. That large U.S.-England match 

The Black Friday matchup between the favored Three Lions and upstart Yanks guarantees to attract document viewership within the U.S.

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter breaks down Wales, England and Iran

Will the US make it to the knockout spherical?

10. Thanksgiving Day Futbol 

There are 4 Turkey Day matches: SwitzerlandCameroon, UruguaySouth Korea, PortugalGhana, BrazilSerbia

11. Qatar enjoying within the opener  

The hosts ought to’ve had the World Cup opener from the start. Now they may, with FIFA formally deciding to maneuver QatarEcuador up a day, to Nov. 20. 

12. The Iran-U.S. rematch  

Crew Melli shocked the People 2-1 again in 1998. Will the U.S. return the favor this time? 

USMNT vs. Iran in Group Stage of the World Cup

Afshin Ghotbi, former Iran coach and United States assistant talks with Doug McIntyre concerning the significance and historical past between the 2 nations on the World Cup forward of their matchup in group play.

13. Iran‘s followers  

Moreover the hosts, no workforce will probably be higher supported by touring supporters in Qatar.  

14. Canada’s first look in 36 years  

After topping CONCACAF qualifying, the Reds want to make noise at their second World Cup.  

15. The Netherlands again the place they belong  

The three-time finalist Dutch completed third in 2014 earlier than lacking 2018 completely. The World Cup is healthier with the Oranje in it.   

16. Spain-Germany on Nov. 27 

When it comes to sheer soccer high quality, this may be the very best matchup of the group stage.  

17. Robert Lewandowski‘s targets  

Poland will go so far as their all-world striker will take them. 

18. France’s title protection 

Whereas Les Bleus have a behavior of taking each different World Cup off, France would possibly even have higher workforce now than they did 4 years again.

19. Luka Modric‘s goodbye  

The Croatian maestro nonetheless has it at 36, having simply helped Actual Madrid win the UEFA Champions League but once more.  

20. A one-city World Cup 

That is mainly what Qatar 2022 will probably be, with each workforce and its followers based mostly both within the capital of Doha or its outskirts, this World Cup could have extra of an Olympic really feel.  

21. No in-country flights  

After enduring grueling journey in each Brazil and Russia, Qatar’s small dimension ensures that gamers and followers will not must get on a aircraft once more till they depart.  

22. Adidas’ Al Rihla match ball  

Arguably the prettiest World Cup ball for the reason that Jabulani in 2010.

23. Concussion spotters  

Whereas FIFA stopped in need of approving concussion substitutions for 2022, officers will probably be looking out for head accidents.  

24. The 26-player rosters  

Three additional gamers per workforce will earn a World Cup journey this 12 months. Who can argue with that?  

25. The final 32-team occasion  

The sector will develop to 48 when Canada, Mexico and the US co-host the 2026 World Cup.

26. Ghana’s return 

The Black Stars had been a lot enjoyable to look at in 2006, 2010 and 2014. It is good to see them again after lacking out final time.

27. 5 out there substitutes  

We have gotten so used to seeing 5 subs at membership degree over the past two years, it is arduous to imagine this pandemic-era impressed rule change will probably be in use at a World Cup for the primary time.  

28. One other first-time finalist  

Two of the final three World Cup finals featured a workforce that had by no means been there earlier than: Croatia in 2018 and Spain in 2010. Will we see one other on Dec. 18?  

29. Ladies referees  

By no means earlier than has a girl officiated a males’s World Cup sport. That can quickly change, with Stéphanie Frappart of France, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita among the many 36 refs headed to Qatar. 

30. Semi-automated offside expertise  

Whereas VAR was successful 4 years in the past, reviewing offside choices took too lengthy. The brand new tech’s intention is to hurry these checks up.

31. “Foot on the road” rule for keepers 

The three-year-old requirement that goalies hold no less than one foot on the road till a penalty is taken will make its debut at a males’s World Cup.

32. New iconic kits 

It is going to be arduous to high Brazil’s Jaguar-inspired shirts.

33. Brazil’s attacking mixtures 

With Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Raphinha, Richarlison, Rodrygo, Vinícius Júnior and others to select from, Brazil coach Tite cannot actually go fallacious.  

34. Group E 

With Costa Rica and Japan rounding out a foursome that additionally options European heavyweights Germany and Spain, this one has all of it on the subject of totally different enjoying types.  

35. The chip on England’s shoulder 

The Three Lions and their followers fancy themselves an elite workforce however lack the silverware to show it. England hasn’t even reached a World Cup ultimate since their controversial lone win in 1966. 

36. A correct sendoff for Belgium’s Golden technology 

The Pink Devils got here shut in 2018, reaching the semis earlier than dropping to eventual champ France. With Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard all now of their 30s, this may very well be their final, finest likelihood.  

37. A rebirth of Spain’s magic midfield 

It isn’t the Iniesta-Xavi duo of La Roja’s iconic title profitable 2010 squad, however Koke and Rodri are the very best combo since — they usually nonetheless have Sergio Busquets cleansing up behind them.

38. Gregg Berhalter’s bounce passes 

Should you suppose the U.S. coach’s unorthodox technique of throwing the ball to his gamers has gotten a whole lot of consideration already, simply wait.

Gregg Berhalter breaks down the bounce cross

Alexi Lalas and Dave Mosse sat down with the top coach of the USMNT, Gregg Berhalter, to get the inside track on his world-famous again cross to gamers.

39. A scrappy Serbian workforce 

Do not sleep on the Serbs, who might emerge from a troublesome group that additionally incorporates Brazil, Cameroon and Switzerland.  

40. An older Son Heung-min 

The Premier League’s main scorer final season is primed for big event for the Taegeuk Warriors. 

41. World Cup-worthy celebrations 

Even with out the Colombians, there are positive to be loads of cellies price remembering  

42. Darwin Nunez’s first main worldwide event 

Liverpool’s $100 million man may very well be a breakout star for Uruguay.  

43. World-class goalkeeping 

Targets get a lot of the glory, however an otherworldly save may be simply as essential and a sizzling keeper can take a workforce deep (see Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas in 2014).  

44. Breakout stars 

Who will probably be this event’s Kylian Mbappe

45. Wales on the World Cup 

Led by LAFC star Gareth Bale, Wales will play its first World Cup sport in 56 years after they meet the U.S. on Nov. 21. 

46. World Cup commercials 

Greater than 4 years later, the track from that ubiquitous Pepsi advert continues to be caught in our heads.

47. Controversial calls 

Identical to on the final World Cup, the usage of VAR doesn’t suggest there will not nonetheless be choices to gripe about.  

48. The memes 

Simply be grateful you will not see Joachim Löw selecting his nostril on the sideline this time round.

49. Golazos 

From the mazy solo runs by Pele and Messi to bangers like Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick towards Spain in 2018, essentially the most wonderful targets scored at World Cups reside within the reminiscence without end.

50. The surprising 

The whole lot about this World Cup is totally different. Do not be stunned if what occurs on the sector is, too.

One of many main soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has lined United States males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a employees author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities. Comply with him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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