The most compact FIFA World Cup since 1930 and the very first edition to be held in the Middle East and Arab world will kick off on 20 November to 18 December 2022. To get you up to speed, VIP Magazine’s IKENNA OKAFOR presents the big countdown with a weekly compilation of news, facts and figures.
Players to watch
Alphonso Davies (Canada/ Bayern Munich)
The Canadian is one of the best fullbacks in the world and any football follower can attribute most of that to his wonderful pace and dribbling skills. Davies was the first player born in 2000 to debut in MLS
Since arriving at Bayern Munich in 2019, the left-back has won every trophy possible. And he did that all in one season.
At 21 and after cruising through every opposition with Bayern, Phonzy helped lead Canada to its first World Cup qualification since 1986.
Aurelien Tchouameni (France/ Real Madrid)
The newest and final piece to rejuvenating a legendary Madrid midfield.
Aurelien was Real Madrid’s first summer acquisition, buying him from AS Monaco for a deal potentially worth $100 million – the most expensive transfer this summer.
Well, Tchouameni is one of those players that is unpredictable in the sense of what he will be able to contribute throughout a football match.
Although he has the characteristics and attributes of a defensive and tough central midfielder, the Frenchman can also provide in the attack and create chances in the last third – all reasons for Didier Deschamps to consider him a regular in the French national team.
With Les Blues, Tchouameni has become a starter and will most likely be one in the 2022 World Cup.
The host country has gone on to win the World Cup on six different occasions. The feat was achieved by Uruguay, Italy, West Germany, Argentina and France. All host countries, with the exclusion of South Africa in 2010, have gone through the group stage and reached the round of 16.
Brazil is the only country in the world to have participated in each and every World Cup. They are on their way to the 22nd World Cup after they qualified for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Roger Milla, the first African player to gain fame on the international stage, is the oldest goalscorer at a World Cup event. He scored against Russia in the 1994 World Cup.
Iceland is the smallest country by population to ever play in the World Cup. They finally made it to the group stages for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after 12 previously failed campaigns.
Spain Vs Germany (November 27):Undoubtedly, there are not many bigger group-stage matches than this at a World Cup. Two recent champions, two giants of European and world soccer.
Senegal Vs Netherlands (November 21): The first match of the tournament for both countries. With Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk on the field, it’s an interesting one to look out for.
Ghana Vs Uruguay (December 2): It was back on the night of July 2, 2010, when Luis Suarez deliberately stopped the ball with his hand on the goal line. He was sent off, only for Ghana to miss the penalty in the last minute of extra time in a World Cup quarterfinal encounter. Uruguay won in a shootout as Suarez celebrated on the sideline.