With the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicking off in 24 days, it’s time to explore the team to beat in Qatar – Messi’s last-chance Argentina.
Every day until November 20th, we’ll explore a different team represented in this year’s tournament, from Group A to Group H, including predictions about where they’ll end up.
Nickname: La Albiceleste, The White and Sky Blue
Colors: White, sky blue
Coach: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)
Argentina is the team nobody wants to meet in Qatar. They’ve got goalkeepers from the Premier League, Serie A, and LaLiga. In defense, they’ve got Benfica’s Nicolás Otamendi, Sevilla’s Marcos Acuña, Tottenham’s Cristian Romero, and Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez. Their midfield stars Ángel Di María and Leandro Paredes of Juventus, Atletico’s Rodrigo De Paul, Villareal’s Lo Celso, Sevilla’s Papu Gomez, and Lucas Ocampos of Ajax. Up front, you’ve got Lautaro Martínez of Inter Milan, Paulo Dybala of Roma, Ángel Correa of Atletico Madrid, Julián Álvarez of Manchester City, Giovanni Simeone of Napoli, and, oh yeah, that other guy, freaking Lionel Messi of PSG. If Argentina can stay healthy, who can beat the White and Sky Blues?
Qatar will mark Argentina’s 18th World Cup appearance. The two-time Champions held the Cup in 1978 and 1986 when former Argentinian GOAT Maradona had the famous Hand of God play. More recently, Argentina is the 2014 World Cup runners-up and lost the 2018 competition in the round of 16 to eventual champions France in a 4-3 thriller. Currently, Argentina hasn’t lost a match since the 2019 Copa America final to Brazil. Argentina is the reigning Copa America champions, winning in 2021 over Brazil.
Tournament Prediction: World Cup Champions.
Messi has made it clear that 2022 will be his last World Cup at the age of 35. His entire super squad of Monstars is behind him, ready to bleed for Argentina and to get the king his crown. Argentina should easily win Group C, though Poland and Mexico might give them a little trouble. They’ll likely take on/dismantle Denmark in the round of 16, followed by a tough win against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. Argentina is likely to face Brazil in the semis, a replay of the last two Copa America championships. If Messi can squeak by Neymar, he should face Belgium in the final, where he’ll end his international career on a high note, holding the World Cup trophy as the undeniable greatest of all time.
Featured Image: Generated Image: DALL-E 2/ArgentinaNationalFootballTeam/DM