After 12 years of accumulation, controversy and debate, the 2022 World Cup is now just a few days away.
Can Brazil end 20 years of pain? Will Lionel Messi finally lead Argentina to global glory in his last dance? After reaching the semi-finals and finals of the last two main competitions, does England have what it takes to go all the way? Could host Qatar bring a surprise or two? We are about to discover…
To help you understand what’s going on inside, sports A team guide of the 32 teams playing in Qatar, produced by local experts, profiles every coach involved in this World Cup, outlines the strengths and weaknesses of each team, names potential breakthrough players for each country , and explained exactly how the pressure of each team came home from the media and fans fighting back.
Perhaps more important than that, they’ll tell you which manager always wears a plain white button-down shirt for good luck, which team’s fans cross the desert to Doha, which country’s panicky president tweets Best wishes to the injured and sick of his national team. Star, which group of fans inexplicably resurrected a 1980s pop song on the way to the final, which goalie was inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the world’s longest pitch…
Find answers to all of these questions and more in the 32 team guides below.
For an in-depth group-by-group breakdown of each team’s tactics and how they built…
Group A guide: De Jong keeps Holland on alert and watch for Ecuadorian set pieces
Group B guide: England’s control and the javelin throw of the Iranian goalkeeper
Group C guide: Argentina’s fast start, aging Mexico and possession-shy Poland
Group D guide: France’s high pressure, Denmark’s inverted winger and Australian giants
Group E guide: Spain’s young midfield stars watch Germany’s triangle
Group F guide: Belgium free to score, Croatia and Canada cuts
Group G guide: Tadic’s corner, Swiss pressing and a more complete Neymar
Group H Guide: Conductor Bernardo Silva and the Last Dance of Uruguay
(Copy artwork: Photo: Getty Images/Design: Sam Richardson. Above: Getty Images)