Copa Mundial, Wereldbeker, Weltmeisterschaft

A preview of the world’s greatest competition

by Amelia Severn, Sports Editor

We are a couple weeks away from when students around the globe will be glued to their screens watching the World Cup, one of the greatest sporting events in the world. A competition where fans around the world share their love for the beautiful game of futbol, supporting their nation and favorite players from all corners of the globe. An event that shows how a love for sports can connect people from all backgrounds and ethnicities.

by Nathan Serwold

There is something different about this World Cup though. Normally, we watch the World Cup with friends and family under the hot summer sun. However, this year there will be snow on the ground along with holiday songs while the televisions show the games. The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, the first Arab nation to hold the tournament. Due to the extremely high temperatures in Qatar, the tournament will take place in the winter, giving the World Cup a completely different feel.

This timing puts many people at risk. Numerous big name players are missing the World Cup, because they would have to go from their highly competitive league play in the Premiere League, Serie A, La Liga, etc, and go straight into the competition. Normally, players can rest prior to the biggest competition of their lives, but with the World Cup timing, there have been an abnormal number of players missing the World Cup due to injury. Players like Reece James (England), N’golo Kante (France), and Diogo Jota (Portugal) have all been ruled out of the World Cup due to injury and many others have very little chance of recovering in time for the tournament. 

All eyes will be on this World Cup, particularly the likes of Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), and Neymar (Brazil), for whom it will likely be the last chance to capture the hearts of their nation once again and who have inspired generations of young footballers. The art of Messi, power of Ronaldo, and beauty of Neymar compare to nothing in the sports world. Although there is debate over who is the actual GOAT, Greatest of All Time, Messi or Ronaldo, this tournament will be a celebration of their legacies and their impact on the beautiful game. 

The tournament’s favorites include Brazil, Argentina, France, and England. Argentina enters the tournament on a 35-game unbeaten run, having won the Copa America last summer. This is the best team that has surrounded Messi, which gives them these huge expectations. The reigning champions of the 2018 World Cup, France, enters with a very talented squad. However the last three champions, dating all the way back to 2010 Italy squad, all ended up not going through the group stage the following tournament. Will this pattern continue? Brazil fell to Argentina in the Copa America final, but they look as good as they have been in a long time. Being in one of the easier groups of the tournament, they have a pretty easy route to the knockout stages, but anything can happen and this is what the World Cup is all about. Some sleeper teams to look out for include Denmark, Senegal, and Canada.

Another big storyline to follow is the United States’ return, after missing out on the World Cup in 2018. They enter the tournament after a couple horrible results in September, but with the sport on the rise in the United States, everybody’s eyes will be on them. For this tournament to feel like a success I believe the U.S. needs to get out of the group stage, which is no easy task being in a group with England, Wales, and Iran. Many expect them to get at least to the quarterfinals, but with their current form, I don’t know how realistic this is. This is their chance to prove themselves to the world, before the 2026 World Cup comes to the United States.

This will be a tournament of wins and losses. Tears of joy and tears of disappointment. Frustration and happiness. A tournament of Goals, Assists, Megs, Skills and Celebrations. Expect the unexpected and believe in the unbelievable. Anything can happen on the world’s greatest stage.