Expectations for the ‘World Cup’ in Qatar


Gianluca Cuevas

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar begins Nov. 20 with Qatar facing Ecuador.

Itzel Giron, Multimedia Editor

For the first time, the World Cup will be held from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18 to protect players and attendees from dehydration. 32 nations are taking the biggest stage in soccer.  

It is possibly the last time anyone will get to see big names such as Argentina forward Lionel Messi, Mexico goalie Guillermo Ochoa and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo at the international level.It is an entertaining set of group matches. The World Cup is broken into the Group Stage, Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semi-Finals then the Final match Dec. 18.

It is hard to determine what teams are powerhouses, especially when most nations have not released their roster. However, some teams look like they will be missing key players to marterialize a successful run. 

For the United States 26-man roster, familiar names such as forward Christian Pulisic is sure to be vital to the advancement out of the group stages. However, the U.S. men’s team will be without striker Ricardo Pepi. The youthful legs will not make his international debut leaving a hole in speed and opens up the possibility of goals. Also missing from the roster is longtime goalie Zack Steffen, a pivotal player when it comes to penalty kicks. 

Mexico is one team to keep an eye out for. Although their roster is not out yet, stars like goalie Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa are sure to be out on the field. However, big name Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will not be on the roster due to “tactical reasons” and could cost Mexico a chance go to the Round of 16. 

Brazil comes in highly favored to win the World Cup, especially with a force like Neymar making a comeback in what could be his final World Cup. Brazil has won the past seven games and shown strong dominance against their opponents. Other notable players on the roster include forward Rodrygo and defender Thiago Silva who make up the strength needed to make a deep run in the tournament.

A favored nation to win the final is Argentina, as it could be Lionel Messi’s final international appearance and if able to win, it could mean his first World Cup.

While Argentina has five Premier League players on the squad, the key to a successful run in this World Cup is communication and a flow process to mend together. Losing a couple of players due to injuries, it could be possible that Argentina is not able to find a well enough rhythm to move past the Round of 16 or the Quarterfinals. 

The first match in the group stages is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 20 against  Qatar and Ecuador and will be live streamed on FOX Sports, Peacock and Telemundo networks.

Itzel Giron is the multimedia editor and can be reached at [email protected]; @by.itzel.giron on Instagram; @itzel_anahi_16 on Twitter.