Beer sales suspended, Spain’s sleep strategy

Two more sleeps before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, and ESPN has you set for the world’s greatest sporting event.

Ahead of Sunday’s opener between hosts Qatar and Ecuador, we’ve got tons of great previews and reads to get you ready for anything. Start with our World Cup 2022 guide, which details the big stars (including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo), the favorites (Argentina, France, Brazil) and the key games to plan in your calendar (USA-England, of course, next Friday).

Be sure to check back on ESPN during the tournament as we bring you the latest from Qatar. Let’s get into that.

– World Cup news, features, previews and more
– Stream FC Daily and Futbol Americas on ESPN+


Messages and Notes

– Beer bait and switch? A major reversal for the fans attending the games as the World Cup organizers banned the sale of alcohol in the stadiums.

– Rest up, Spain fans. The players of Luis Enrique’s team will sleep on specially designed mattress pads in the hope that a good night’s sleep will help them succeed in the tournament.

– With some stylish suits and even some fighter jets, some of the best players and squads from the World Cup come to Qatar in a unique way.


Today’s best

How the USMNT squad for the 2022 World Cup found its feet in a friendly against Portugal five years ago
After failing to make the 2018 World Cup, a key game provided the blueprint for the USMNT roster we see today.

The best player under 23 for each World Cup team
Jude Bellingham. Jamal Musiala. Ansu Fati. Remember the names of these youngsters throughout the tournament.


What’s on offer

– FIFA President Gianni Infantino will address reporters on Saturday and he will no doubt be asked about the alcohol sale controversy, as well as last-minute construction work at various fan parks, transport hubs and stadiums.

– From the USMNT camp we expect to hear from Sergino Dest, Weston McKennie and Jesus Ferreira. In the meantime, check out our profile of Giovanni Reyna (and son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna) who has had a rollercoaster year with injuries.

– Christian Eriksen will speak tomorrow about Denmark’s hopes at this World Cup and their remarkable comeback. If you recall, the Manchester United star was revived on the pitch after suffering cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 game.

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ESPN’s Herculez Gomez considers Gregg Berhalter’s options if Sergino Dest is unsuitable for USMNT’s opener against Wales.


What we noticed

Any hard feelings? Robert Lewandowski said he has nothing against Argentine Lionel Messi in regards to the 2020 Ballon d’Or which many thought the Polish forward deserved.

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Robert Lewandowski denies having any bad feelings towards Lionel Messi over the 2021 Ballon d’Or award.

The two teams will face off in the group stage on November 30, with a potential knockout stage spot at stake.

– O’Hanlon: How to understand the 2022 World Cup (ESPN+)


The big read

Is hosting the World Cup in Qatar all about ‘sportswear’, or are there more subtle and complex reasons for hosting FIFA’s flagship competition? ESPN’s Mark Ogden and Kyle Bonagura spoke to experts about the motives behind the controversial decision.


your best bets

ESPN will provide you with the lines of action for the next day, but take a look at how you can actually bet on football games as ESPN contributor Paul Carr shares top tips on odds, options and futures.

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