As this year’s edition of the tournament is the first to be held in a Middle-East State and during the winter season, both excitement and controversy have made it one of the most anticipated editions in the history of football. 32 national football teams have already submitted their final 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that will be kickstarted in another six days in Qatar, and favourites have already been analysed and revealed, namely Brazil, Argentina, France, Belgium, England, etc.
But everybody loves an underdog story, especially for a grandiose sporting event like the FIFA World Cup. In recent years, many teams have been able to surprise spectators with their overlooked abilities and reach heights where many thought they were not supposed to accomplish; A few instances in this regard would be Croatia’s second-place finish in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and Denmark’s semifinal run in the 2020 UEFA European Championship. Hence, here are some of the teams that are capable of challenging the traditional powerhouses of football and make a name for themselves.
Denmark ended the last edition of the UEFA Euro tournament as a surprise semifinalist, especially after they lost their best player, Christian Eriksen through a collapse during a group fixture against Finland at their home soil. The Danes also drew first blood against the Three Lions at the Wembley Stadium, only to bow out from the tournament via Harry Kane’s last-minute winning penalty. Ranked 10th in the world at the moment, the 1992 UEFA Euro champion looks to break the status quo in the football world and creates history once again.
The South Koreans have contested the most World Cups among all Asian countries and the country remains the only Asian nation to be in a World Cup semifinal. In the last edition, although they did not make into the last 16 round, they eliminated the then defending champion Germany with a shocking 2-0 win, allowing other group mates, Sweden and Mexico to earn their tickets to the knockout rounds. Their underdog run this year is pretty much dependent on their captain, Tottenham Hotspurs’ striker Son Heung-Min once again, but whether he will be fully fit on time from an eye injury would be a huge question.
La Celeste has always been a dark horse in previous World Cups, winning two editions in 1930 and 1950 during the process. They finished the 2018 FIFA World Cup as a quarterfinalist, after giving the then European champion Portugal a heartbreaking exit from the tournament despite Ronaldo’s brilliance. Young blood such as Darwin Núñez is looking forward to carrying the Uruguay attack on his shoulder and propelling his country to progress beyond the quarterfinal stage for the first time since 2010, with valuable support and guidance being given by his long-time seniors Luis Suárez and Edison Cavani.
Here are the three teams that might take the 2022 FIFA World Cup by a storm, what are your thoughts on the possible underdogs in this year’s World Cup?
(Photo Credits: Sky Sports)