With eight teams remaining in the 2022 World Cup, options are dwindling as to who can win the tournament.
There are the usual favorites. France and England have a tasty quarterfinal fixture. Lionel Messi and Argentina play the Netherlands in a 2014 semifinal rematch. Then, Brazil and Portugal lit up their respective opposition in the round of 16 to advance. Finally, 2018 runner-up Croatia is back in the last eight, exemplifying its strategy of success from four years ago.
Still, the story of the knockout stages so far is Morocco. Granted, Morocco is far less talented than the other teams in the quarterfinals. Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi, Sofiane Boufal and Sofyan Amrabat are joys to watch. Also, Yassine Bounou, or simply Bono, picked up Man of the Match honors against Spain for his penalty heroics. He did not allow a shot to get past him, as Morocco won 3-0 on penalties.
Technically speaking, any of the eight teams can win. Based on form, it is a different story. Some teams look ripe for the challenge. As stated, Brazil blitzed through its opponents. France looks strong as usual, as does England. Argentina may have struggled late on, but it still looked competent against Australia.
Funnily enough, these were the four teams with the highest odds to win the competition before it kicked off back on Nov. 20. The next three, Spain, Germany and Belgium, all suffered somewhat embarrassing exits from the tournament. But, at least Spain got out of its group.
Who will win the 2022 World Cup?
Those betting odds have changed, but the favorites to win it all remains Brazil. That is not overly a surprise. Tite’s squad entered as the deepest team in the tournament. Despite Neymar picking up a knock, his team has not missed a beat. In fact, it allowed Richarlison to truly shine at the top of the formation. Vinícius and Raphinha are not exactly bad options on the wing, either.
However, can a team usurp Brazil for that spot? Croatia is its next opponent, and the Croatians have a history of success against top teams. Brazil can then meet the Netherlands in the semifinals. Louis van Gaal put together a masterclass against the United States, and he could outsmart the Brazilians. Or, it could be Argentina. The two fierce rivals would put together a game for the ages imbued with passion. As a neutral, that would be my semifinal of choice.
France and England would also like a word, as neither showed any true weakness at any point in this tournament.
So, who is your pick to bring home the trophy from Qatar?
Guide to World Cup 2022
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