By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh, TAT Sports Editor
The super goals, the classic matches, moments of sportsmanship, and fans showing up in their true colors will make us forget the horrid built-up full of anguish and shattered dreams for so many players who have aimed to excel at such a big tournament.
Qatar 2022 will remind us of a world cup in the middle of the European season, where a country defends its cultural tradition & reserves its values.
Hugo Lloris, on the LGBTQ+ captain armband: “I have my personal opinion. When we welcome strangers in France, we often want them to comply with our rules and requirements. I will do the same in Qatar. I have to show respect for that.”
At some point, you think it’s destiny that some players are bound to get injured; commentators keep repeating this is the final match before the break, with some leagues taking breaks until January 4th.
One of the most dreadful things is getting injured in your last games. Baba Iddrisu (Ghana), Jojo Wallacott (Ghana), Amine Harit (Morocco) James Reece (England)all got injured and are ruled out of the tournament. At the same time, many will continue their recovery while in Qatar following a scare. Sadio Mane (Senegal), Benzema (France), James Maddison (England), and Son (South Korea) are among the lots.
Some coaches went with a mixture of experience and the upcoming generation; dropping Ramos is acceptable but dropping De Gea is something out of the blue. It clearly shows an end of an era for some players.
Rafa Marquez (Mexico) had a more extended stint with the national team for 21 years. He appeared in five World Cups; in the last edition he featured, he was 39 years old, which shows age comes with gold. That’s why Argentine and Portugal are sticking with Di Maria and Pepe. This year, we will see young talents who will likely explode. Xavi Simons ( Holland) and Spanish starlet Gavi are bracing themselves for the world stage.
Ghana pipped neighbors the Super Eagles to the World Cup. North Africa has been represented by Tunisia and Morocco, while South Africa, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and Egypt missed out. The five representatives have a total of 26 world appearances, and one of them is a tip to go very far as three of them, Senegal, Cameroon, and Ghana, once they reach the quarterfinals.
African natives and longevity will coach the five African continents with their respective teams will play a significant role, especially in their philosophy.
Qatar has invested a lot in hosting this tournament, even with much resentment of their whole project from bidding, timing, and labor work.
Those that have decided much hasn’t been seen on the field, which will be the surprise package. The final four will be Argentina, Germany, Brazil, and France, with Belgium and Holland tending to cause upsets. However, if the golden generation is to come to fruition, then it’s time for Belgium to deliver.
This will be the last time for De Bruyne, Lukaku, Courtois, Hazard, and others to win something for Belgium.