After 12 years of build-up, controversy and debate, the 2022 World Cup is just days away.
Can Brazil end a 20-year wound? Will Lionel Messi finally lead Argentina to world glory with his final dance? Did England have what it took to make it all the way to the end? And can hosts Qatar bring any surprises? We are about to find out…
To help provide an internal track, athletic produced a team guide of local experts for the 32 teams competing in Qatar, profiled all managers involved in this World Cup, outlined strengths and weaknesses of each team, and identified potential breakout points for each country. It names through players and explains exactly how much pressure each team will be under. Home from the media and fans.
Perhaps more importantly, which manager always wears a pristine white button-down shirt for good luck, which team has fans walking through the desert to Doha, and which country is in a state of panic. The president tweeted his congratulations to the victims of the disaster on the national team. Who is the group of fans who inexplicably revived his song from 1980s pop and which goalie has entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest throw in the world…
Find answers to all these questions and more in these 32 team guides.
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For a detailed group-by-group breakdown of each team’s tactics and setup methods…
Group A Guide: De Jong keeps Holland, beware of Ecuador set-piece
Group B Guide: Javelin Style Throws from England’s Control and Iran’s Goalkeepers
Guide to Group C: Argentina’s quick start, aging Mexico and possession-shy Poland
Group D guides: French high press, Danish reverse winger, Australian giants
Group E guide: Beware of the love triangle between Spain’s young midfield star and Germany
Group F guides: free-scoring Belgium, cross-heavy Croatia, Canadian cutbacks
Guide to Group G: Tadic’s corner kick, Swiss press and more complete Neymar
Group H Guide: Orchestrator Bernardo Silva and Uruguay’s Last Dance
(Artwork in copy: Photo: Getty Images/Design: Sam Richardson. Top image: Getty Images)