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 F.
Years of disappointing results led to a detailed overhaul of Belgium’s entire footballing system. Every detail – from what time weekly youth matches should take place to formations on the pitch – was scrutinized.
The overhaul has largely paid off; Belgium goes into Qatar 2022 as the No. 2 ranked side in the world, behind only Brazil at No. 1.
With superstars like Eden Hazard (31), Kevin De Bruyne (31) and Romelu Lukaku (29), the Belgium squad is likely to be the oldest team in the tournament on average. Therefore, this could be the last chance for Belgium’s golden generation to win a tournament.
Canada’s first World Cup appearance was in 1986. And it turns out that would be their only appearance… until now.
Some memorable moments were created during Canada’s qualifying matches for this tournament. In front of a home crowd against Panama, Bayern Munich full-back Alphonso Davies put one in the back of the net after sprinting 80 yards up the pitch to snatch the ball from a Panamanian defender caught off guard. Canada won the game 4-1.
Will they be able to cause an upset in Qatar? Group F – with No. 2-ranked Belgium and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia – will not be an easy ride.
Despite making it to the final of the 2018 World Cup, where they lost 4-2 to France, Croatia has been on a somewhat downward trajectory since then.
In 2021 they scraped through the group stage of Euro 2020 (played a year later due to COVID-19) on goals scored before being spanked 5-3 by Spain in the first knockout round.
Croatia’s performance in the tournament will largely be pinned on whether they can get a good result against Canada and Belgium. Regardless, progression to the knockout rounds means they’ll probably play Germany or Spain, which is always tough.
We can only wish them good luck.
2022 marks Morocco’s sixth World Cup since 1970.
Their best performance was in 1986 when they made it into the second round, the only time they’ve made it past the group stage.
Fun fact – Morocco was the first African nation to draw a match at the World Cup, having drawn 1-1 against Bulgaria in 1970.
Can the North African nation cause an upset in Qatar? Probably not. This is a tough group and we’d be surprised if they even got a point, but the beautiful game is always full of surprises.
[Cover image via That’s]