Welcome to the That’s Guide to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Throughout the week That’s will be publishing a series of articles highlighting everything you need to know about the tournament. Here's your guide to Group A.
This is Qatar’s first-ever World Cup and they only qualified because they are the host nation, which probably says enough about their footballing prowess.
A host nation has won the World Cup six times, but given the size of the nation of Qatar, and the other teams in their group, simply getting a win will be a huge achievement.
Ecuador first appeared at a World Cup in 2002, when the tournament was hosted by Japan and South Korea.
They qualified again in 2006, making it to the Round of 16 in the tournament proper, their best-ever finish. They returned in 2014 but never made it past the group stage.
Both Ecuador and Qatar will be eyeing each other up as the opponent they need to beat if they stand any chance of making it out of the group.
Despite being a great footballing nation and producing some of the greatest players the game has ever seen (Johan Cruyff, Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Dennis Bergkamp, Robin van Persie, just to name a few), the Netherlands has never won the World Cup.
Renowned for using a 4-3-3 system for generations, the fans won’t accept any other style of play. Before their opening game of Euro 2020, a small plane flew over the training ground pulling a banner that read: “Frank [De Boer, the team’s head coach]. Just 4-3-3! ”
De Boer persisted with his 3-5-2 formation, went out in the Round of 16, and was subsequently replaced by Louis van Gaal.
Also known as the Lions of Teranga, Senegal is the current champion of the Africa Cup of Nations and sits 18th in the world rankings, their highest-ever position.
The national squad consists of players plying their trade in the English Premier League, France’s Ligue 1, the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A.
By far and away their best player is non-other than former Premier League champion and Champions League winner Sadio Mane, who moved to Bayern Munich from Liverpool earlier this year.
[Cover image via That’s]