Even some of these dark horses were able to beat the big countries in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
You only have to look at the way Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup to see that the hosts can be a dangerous dark horse. Russia advanced to the last eight of the 2018 World Cup, after eliminating Spain in the round of 16.
Qatar will work hard to try and emulate that achievement, but they are certainly a footballing nation on the rise, despite having little legacy in their footballing history.
It will be interesting to see how Qatar act with their youth team in the 2022 World Cup, if they can talk a lot at the Asian level with their youth team, then they can also be dark horses in the 2022 World Cup, the biggest tournament of football which makes them a First Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup.
FIFA Rating: 9
Arguably one of the most impressive teams during the UEFA qualifying phase, Denmark booked their place with eight wins from eight matches, scoring 27 goals and conceding nil in the process.
Having gone through without dropping points or conceding a goal, coach Kasper Hjulmand said his team were ‘delighted to be the dark horses of the World Cup’.
And not surprising, given Denmark’s fiery move to the semifinals of EURO 2020 last year amid the unsettling events of their opening tournament.
FIFA Ranking: 13
The US’s reputation as a leader in sports – from basketball and ice hockey to baseball and athletics – is undeniable.
However, it is ‘football’ that has so far eluded America on the big stage.
If not 2022, USMNT has a golden generation ahead of the 2026 World Cup, at home!
5 Star Players Who Will Face Lionel Messi In The 2022 World Cup Group Stage
Lionel Messi will enter the 2022 World Cup with big ambitions. This event may be Messi’s last chance to win the dream trophy and present it to Argentina.
Last Friday (1/2/2022) FIFA held the draw for the 2022 World Cup. So far, 29 countries have secured a slot in the finals, Qatar, from November 21 to December 18, 2022. Lionel Messi has asked Argentina to be one of them.
Based on the results of the 2022 World Cup group stage draw yesterday, Argentina joined Poland, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia in Group C. On paper, Messi et al. deserve to be superior to other teams.
Even so, football is always full of surprises. There are at least 5-star players who will play against Lionel Messi in the group phase of the 2022 World Cup group stage. Who? Let’s break down,
The obvious first name: Robert Lewandowski. Bayern Munich and Poland superstar Lewandowski has been the world’s top striker in recent years.
Lewandowski has proven to be able to guide Poland through tough matches in the 2022 World Cup Qualification play-offs in the European zone. He scored one goal in the final to help Poland beat Sweden (2-0).
Lewandowski’s presence on the field proved to boost Poland’s strength to the top level. Obviously, Lewandowski will be one of the most troublesome opponents for Argentina and Messi.
Who does not know the name Hirving Lozano ? The Napoli striker was once one of the sensations of the 2018 World Cup. Lozano played quite well while helping Mexico in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualification zone.
He scored four goals in qualifying, the most of any player. Lozano is known for his speed and foresight to see empty gaps. He will make the line of Argentine defender hassles.
Another Napoli player, Piotr Zielinski is one of Poland’s mainstay attackers. He can form a slick combination with Lewandowski. Zielinski scored Poland’s winner over Sweden (2-0) which sent them to the finals World Cup 2022 in Qatar later. He’s a dangerous player if he gets a gap. Zielinski is most comfortable playing on the right-wing. He can provide crosses for Lewandowski, and can also pierce through the middle and shoot.
Hector Herrera was Mexico’s best player at the 2021 Gold Cup. Unfortunately, he failed to present the trophy. Herrera is a fighting midfielder who would be a problem for any team. He can go up and down the field quickly and has high defensive abilities. Playing at Atletico Madrid, Herrera already knows Messi’s style of play and how to prevent it. He could be Mexico’s key to tackling Argentina.
Mexico‘s best striker is slowly returning to his best level. Raul Jimenez had been sidelined for several months due to a severe head injury. Recovery from a head injury is not easy, because there must be a sense of trauma. Well, Jimenez started to find his courage in the last few months.
He scored two goals for Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifying event. The World Cup 2022 group stage is still to be played at the end of the year. So Jimenez has plenty of time to reach his best level.
Sources: Ball, FIFA, Whoscore, Sofascore