2022 World Cup: The GOATs leave with the trophy or a hole in their trophy case

On Nov. 20, the world once again gets to witness one of the greatest sporting events: the World Cup.  This year’s World Cup will take place in Qatar, and is already getting a huge amount of attention across the globe.  The biggest contenders for the trophy include Brazil, France, England, Portugal, and Argentina.  

“I am really excited for the World Cup.  We only get to see it every four years, so whenever it comes up I like to watch as many games as possible” said sophomore Paul Trombley. 

Brazil, the favorite, is led by superstar winger Neymar Jr., who is having a historic season for PSG.  While Neymar gets much of the glory for his dribbling and playmaking skills, Brazil’s defense is another reason why they are as good as they are.  The veteran center-back duo of Thiago Silva and Marcos Correa, Marquinhos, assisted by rising star Eder Militao, are a nightmare for opposing attackers.  

Despite Brazil’s amazing attack-defend tandem, their midfield consisting of Casemiro, Fabihno, and Lucas Paqueta, is a coach’s dream.  This team is rounded out in goal by Alisson Becker, who is no doubt one of the greatest goalkeepers of this generation.  Overall this team is very threatening, and is looking as if they could make the finals, if not win it all.  

France, the reigning champions, is known for their powerhouse forwards.  PSG striker Kylian Mbappe is complemented by recent Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, and Atleti forward Antoine Griezmann.  They also have young, athletic midfielders Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga.  This Real Madrid duo has proved themselves to be a top competitor for the best duo in the world at such a young age.  

That isn’t all, however, as the back end of this team is led by superstars Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, Presnel Kimpembe, and William Saliba.  Hugo Lloris is going to attempt to be another brick wall in net, as he was in 2018.  Overall, France is a deep team with lots of superstars.  

Next on the list is England, who is competing in Group B with the United States.  England is led by Premier League sensation Harry Kane, along with Manchester City star Phil Foden, Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, and recently signed Chelsea Midfielder Raheem Sterling.  This team has astounding chemistry, and is going to be a tough team to compete against, considering the speed, athleticism, and sheer talent they hold.  

“England is going to win; I have no doubt.  Harry Kane along with all the other incredible players make the other teams stand no chance against England.  I see England going undefeated and winning it all,” said sophomore Abram Freilich.  

Cristiano Ronaldo, the greatest striker of all time, is captaining Portugal for his final World Cup.  Despite not earning playing time at Manchester United, Ronaldo is determined to bring the trophy home this year.  He will be receiving support from Bernardo Silva, Manchester City’s amazing midfielder, Bruno Fernandes, his United teammate, and Rafeal Leao, AC Milan’s rising star.  Joao Cancelo and Pepe will try and hold the fort for Portugal with Rui Particio manning the net.

Rounding out the list of top contenders is Argentina.  They are led by one of, if not, the greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi.  The team does not end with him though, including Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez, as well as goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.  This team is deemed as a serious threat, and is feared by most of their opponents.   

The United States, a potential underdog, have a lot of potential if they can play well together.  Their squad is led by Chelsea midfielder and USA captain Christian Pulisic, who looks to keep the team on the high road.  This young powerhouse also includes Gio Reyna, whose father played for the States for many years, midfielder Weston McKennie, a Juventus star, and Leed’s heroes Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams.  Goalkeeper Matt Turner, who led the United States to a CONCACAF Gold Cup final last year, looks to use that energy and bring it into the biggest tournament in the world.  

“I am not a big fan of soccer, but I see this as a great way to learn about the sport and become a more engaged fan.  I really want the US to win because that is where we live, but whoever wins is who I will probably end up rooting for after all,” said sophomore Jake Chakrian.