The South American nation is one of the favorites to win the tournament.
Messi has played in four World Cups during his career. The 2022 World Cup will be Messi’s last chance to win it for Argentina. The last time Argentina came close to victory was in 2014. Unfortunately, Messi’s side lost to Germany in the final. But this time the Argentines are well prepared and in form. They just won the Copa America last year and are unbeaten in 36 games. Argentina is the favorite alongside Brazil to win the 2022 World Cup.
Let’s assess Argentina’s five potential knockout opponents at the 2022 World Cup.
5. France (round of 16)
Provided Argentina wins their group, they can face France in the round of 16. The last time this happened was at the 2018 World Cup, but with the sinking of Argentina. Deschamps France defeated Argentina 4-3 in an exciting match.
This time, however, Argentina can certainly manage to beat France. Not only Argentina are in great form, France themselves are also missing a few players. Karim Benzema, Nkunku, Kante and Pogba will miss the World Cup. The presence of Benzema, and Kante in particular, would have been crucial in defeating Argentina. Although France are without some players, they can still manage to trump Argentina due to their strength in the squad. Kylian Mbappe is definitely a player to watch out for since he appeared against Argentina last time out.
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4. Denmark (round of 16)
It looks like a pretty easy game for Argentina, yet Denmark are one of the underdogs in the World Cup. Denmark showed at Euro 2020 that they are not an average team. They reached the semifinals and lost to England. They defeated Wales 4-0 and the Czech Republic 2-1 en route to the semi-finals. Denmark recently showed no mercy in World Cup qualifiers, winning nine out of ten games. The likes of Damsgaard, Poulsen, Kjaer and Delaney make headlines.
Argentina is struggling to beat Denmark in the round of 16.
3. Netherlands (Quarterfinals)
If Argentina reach the quarterfinals, they can play against the Netherlands. This assumes that the Netherlands is the most likely winner of their group.
Louis Van Gaal’s team is also in form. The Netherlands are unbeaten in 15 games. They also won 2-0 against Senegal in the World Cup opener. If the Netherlands manages to win their group, they can play against the USA.
2. Germany (semifinals)
That would be a game for the history books. Messi and Argentina would definitely try to take revenge on Germany. While not as prestigious as a final, Argentina would definitely enjoy eliminating Germany. This game is based on the assumption that Germany defeats Spain in the Quarterfinals.
However, this time Germany has a completely different squad than in 2014. The 2014 World Champion has many young players in the squad. The arrival of Hansi Flick is definitely an upgrade, but players are taking time to adjust to his playstyle. Still, it will be an interesting game because Germany have players like Sané, Gnabry, Müller and even Götze.
1. Brazil (semifinals)
Next to Argentina, Brazil is the most popular contender to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It would not be surprising if Brazil defeated Argentina as well. Brazil lost to Argentina in the Copa America final and have gone 15 games unbeaten since then. Brazil have not made it past three quarter-finals at the last four World Cups.
Neymar, Brazil’s star player, is key to all their games. The PSG superstar is in great form and is arguably the most important player for Brazil at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If Argentina face Brazil in the semi-finals, Neymar and Messi are sure to play a prominent role in winning the game for their home nation. This will surely be one of the best matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup if it comes to that.
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