All world it has its list of winners and losers, surprises and disappointments, rising and falling figures. Already with the closing of the first round it is possible to identify the absolute disappointments. Here are some of the teams that left Qatar early.
Germany. The four-time champions are a team full of talent, but with little direction. We’re not just talking about their coach, Flick, but the idea that they play without an identity backer to fall back on when they’re in trouble. The stylistic transition finds them skillful, but without urgency; athletic, but not imposing; serious, but characterless.
Belgium. The locker room problems took their toll on a finished project. The golden generation is lost without titles or glory in a battle of public reproaches, various accusations and dressing room fights. Martínez failed to get the best out of a squad where he saves the best goalkeeper in the world and he manages to put together such a showy midfield that Tielemans, Trossard, De Bruyne and Hazard are allowed to line up without any benefit.
Qatar. The sporting expectations were not high, but even so the locals managed to be the worst hosts in the history of the World Cups. Fragile, nervous, overwhelmed by the stage and the pomp, unable to turn the house no longer into a bunker, but into a minimally stable structure, the Qataris have discovered that the World Cup adventure has been a waste of money, a political wake-up call. social and a football nightmare that only remains to throw sand on top.
Denmark. Conservatism may have been a useful strategy in Europe, but not here. The Danes made boredom an innocuous weapon and tactical doubt a constant. The result was to sign a defeat and a draw against teams that on paper are below the tenth team in the world in the FIFA ranking. With them there has been not only disappointment, but also yawning.
Ecuador. The excellent South American Qualifiers, as well as the leading role of Ecuadorians in European leagues, built the illusion that those led by Alfaro had a good chance of reaching the round of 16. Senegal showed that they were neither technically, tactically nor physically inferior to a team that from this part of the world seemed superior. One of the legacies of Qatar 2022 is that it forces us to rethink the sports balances of South America with Africa and Asia.
Mexico. The Aztec is an always lukewarm team that has needed figures to be able to compete at an international level (Sánchez, Márquez), but today it finds itself without visible references (Lozano is far from being a leader). The result is that Mexicans live comfortably mired in mediocrity. Nothing hurts them more than Concacaf, a steamroller going down, but they don’t let themselves be helped.
Uruguay. Another case of South American expectation that comes face to face with global reality. Neither the new talents (Darwin Núñez, Pellistri), nor the proven veterans (Suárez, Cavani, Godín), managed to make Diego Alonso’s team impose conditions on rivals of lesser tradition and category (South Korea). Between the speculation and the late reaction, what happened in Uruguay was discreet, with the addition that their best game did not serve to qualify. Bad news for Conmebol.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.