FIFA World Cup 2022, the most prestigious event in football, will be held this month. In the World Cup, all 32 teams will fight to be the best in the world. In the meantime, speculations about who will be the best this time have started across the world. Europe and South America are the two best continents when it comes to football. The level of talent and success at international and club level on these two continents is unmatched. Similarly, these two continents possess fan bases that can legitimately impact any game based on emotions and momentum. International football has been dominated by countries from Europe and South America from time immemorial. These countries produced the best results on the international stage and have won all editions of the FIFA World Cup since its inception. 20 Football World Cups played till date, and to date, the final of the World Cup has only been contested by teams from the UEFA (Europe) and CONMEBOL (South America) confederations.
European nations have won 11 titles, whereas South American teams have won nine. So, Europe and South America are undoubtedly the biggest powerhouses of football. More than a century of competitive world football has shaped the perceived differences between Latin American and European playing styles. But World Cup has been dominated by European football for the last ten years. In 2002, the World Cup was held in Asia for the first time. Brazil won the World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan, for the fifth time after defeating Germany in the final. With Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos; Seleção won all the matches of the tournament as the only team in the World Cup. It was also the last time a South American country won the World Cup. Because European teams had the last laugh in the next four World Cups organised after that, such as; Italy won the World Cup in 2006, Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014, and France in 2018. One may wonder what has gone wrong for the South American side. Let’s look for the answers.
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No doubt exists about the quality of football produced by countries from these continents. However, France forward Kylian Mbappe sparked a fierce reaction from South American footballers and fans when he insinuated that the top South American sides had it easy in World Cup Qualifiers because their opponents lacked quality. His comments were not well-received in South America, and several players responded. Despite the reactions, it is true that European football has grown more competitive than South American football. European leagues have the biggest role in this. Because the European leagues have become much more competitive than the South American leagues. A large number of players from European countries participate in these competitive leagues and play for their national teams. As a result, the international matches in European countries are also gradually becoming more competitive.
Another significant reason for the rise of European football could be the economic factor. Football budgets in European countries are much higher than in South American countries. On the other hand, in European leagues, the budgets are much higher than in other leagues around the world, and the player salaries are also significantly higher. Scout’s skills and experience of the European clubs are greater, and their youth player recruitment process is more systematic, organised. As a result, a large number of talented youths from around the world, including South America migrates to the European leagues for getting greater opportunities. They also spent more in the improvement and growth of the players. They also have the luxury to have better coaches and other staffs. Thus, European football is growing rapidly comparing to South American football, and getting success.
Brazil, Argentina: Cream of the crop
Nevertheless, European dominance in the World Cup could end this time as the two Latin American superpowers are going in the tournament being in top three of the rankings. Argentina, dreaming of winning the World Cup for the third time, will go to Qatar after 35 consecutive unbeaten matches. Brazil, the most successful team in World Cup football history, will step into Qatar being in the top spot, best rhythm. On the other hand, various European teams are in a shaky state before the start of the World Cup. Defending champions France, four-time world champions Germany, last year’s semi-finalists England, always regarded as the dark horses of the World Cup, Portugal and Belgium; no team’s current form gives much hope.
Argentina announces 26-man squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup
Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Franco Armani (River Plate) and Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal)
Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Nicolas Tagliafico (Olympique Lyonnais) and Marcos Acuna (Sevilla)
Midfielders: Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla) and Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Forwards: Paulo Dybala (AS Roma), Lionel Messi (Paris St Germain), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan) and Julian Alvarez (Manchester City).
Brazil announces 26-men squad for World Cup
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City) and Weverton (Palmeiras)
Defenders: Dani Alves (Pumas), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Alex Telles (Sevilla) and Bremer (Juventus)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Manchester United), Fred (Manchester United), Fabinho (Liverpool), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham) and Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo)
Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid), Richarlison (Tottenham), Raphinha (Barcelona), Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Pedro (Flamengo) and Rodrygo (Real Madrid)