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Is it a myth that the South American Qualifiers are the most complicated in the world?

According to the latest update of the FIFA ranking, Brazil reached the current world championship in first place with 1841 points. His rival in the quarterfinals made him eleven steps lower, registering almost 200 fewer units. A difference that was not noticed at all on the field during the 120 minutes of play. Once again the Old Continent taught South America a lesson.

If we analyze the same list that is published from time to time by the highest entity of world football, we can find another outstanding fact. 83.4% are European representatives, leaving only two places for Brazil and Argentina. One more goal for those on the other side of the map. We would have to reach position 14 to just find Uruguay.

1. Brazil1841
2. Belgium1816
3. Argentina1773
4. France1759
5. England1728
6. Italy1726
7. Spain1715
8. Netherlands1694
9. Portugal1676
10. Denmark1666
12. Croatia1645

The explanation

Víctor Zaferson, scout and national journalist, affirms that the gaps between the two continents have been reduced for this World Cup event. Although the Europeans are still superior, even more so in specific situations that can define a very even tie.

“European football is very intense, they play very fast and in some areas of the field only one touch. Still in South American football, the teams are not used to direct play. There is still more elaboration. But, despite this, the parties are defined in detail. The gaps have narrowed. You always have to be efficient and have luck and conversation in specific plays. High-level matches are defined in details”comment.

Likewise, Zaferson is clear about what South American footballers must do so that the differences are further reduced in the next World Cup. “They must get used to the high intensity, to the physical deployment to recover the ball faster and define the few clear plays that come up. I think that’s the difference. The South American footballer still likes to have the ball for longer and that’s why he loses surprise in plays in which he has to decide faster. In Europe the game is more direct. The physical appearance is essential. There I see the European superior. The South American has to work harder to stay at a higher pace with speed and precision.”

An accessible path?

Croatia earned their place at Qatar 2022 from Group H of the UEFA Qualifying. He shared the process with Russia (33rd), Slovakia (55th), Slovenia (63rd), Cyprus (110th) and Malta (168th). Teams that on paper have less poster than the cast representatives of Conmebol. The Croats added 23 points, the product of seven wins, two draws and a single loss.

They finished one point above the Russians, whom they sent to the playoffs. Except against the Maltese team, those led by Zlatko Dalic were not vastly superior to their rivals. They had difficult games, especially against Slovenia. An important fact is that said country only surpasses Bolivia in the FIFA ranking.

RivalResult at homeAway result

During the following half of the year, the ‘Vatreni’ will play the final phase of the Nations League. They earned this right after finishing first in Group A, leaving the likes of France and Denmark behind. This championship is also a great success given by UEFA so that their teams only clash with each other during the FIFA friendly dates.

tricky tournament

Five dates before the end of the South American Qualifiers, the ‘Canarinha’ scored in the Qatari championship. It finished six points above Argentina, second in the standings. In addition, he took 17 and 19 points from Uruguay and Ecuador, the other representatives that our confederation presented. His classification was never questioned.

He won 17 matches, equaled three and did not know what it is to lose. He only lacked one game that he could not finally play against Albiceleste because he was suspended. If we talk about the goals, they were also overwhelming. They signed 40 and only saw their fence fall five times. Numbers that made them arrive as the great favorites for Qatar 2022.

Not being able to collide in friendlies against European teams, since they have a full schedule with the Nations League, Tite’s team only had to agree on preparatory matches against teams from Asia and Africa such as Tunisia, Ghana, Japan and Korea. The victories against these teams only increased their favoritism. Today Croatia disguised their mistakes and left them out of Qatar 2022.

Source: Elcomercio

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