Who Will Win FIFA World Cup 2022 – Argentina, France, Croatia Or Morocco? Fans Predict - Eastern Mirror
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Who will win FIFA World Cup 2022 – Argentina, France, Croatia or Morocco? Fans predict

By Mirror Desk Updated: Dec 13, 2022 9:44 pm

Football fans in Nagaland predict, bet for their favourite teams

Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Dec. 13 (EMN): The countdown to the grand finale of the world’s biggest sporting extravaganza – FIFA World Cup 2022 – has begun with only four countries — Argentina, France, Croatia or Morocco –left in the fray for the coveted title.

In the first semifinal match on December 14, Argentina will take on Croatia, while Morocco will meet France in the second semifinal match on December 15. The ultimate title clash between the winners of the semis will be played on December 18 at Lusail Stadium in Qatar.

With traditional football powerhouses like Brazil, Germany and Spain making a hasty retreat this World Cup, there is so much at stake for the four remaining teams.

Morocco, nicknamed ‘The Atlas Lions’, are the first African team to ever make the semi-finals of the World Cup after their sensational victory over Portugal. In the last five matches played, Morocco have only conceded an own goal against Canada.

Neymar ties Pel s all time record with Brazil at World Cup 2
Brazil’s Neymar challenges Croatia’s Luka Modric during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP/PTI)

Croatia have appeared in the FIFA World Cup on six occasions and their best result so far was reaching the 2018 final, where they lost 2-4 to France. The Vatreni (the team’s traditional nickname) players appear well set to settle an old score should they get to meet France in the final.

France are still on course to become the third country to win back-to-back World Cups after Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962). With this World Cup’s leading scorer Kylian Mbappe (5 goals so far) on their side, Les Blues are daring to fulfill their back-to-back ambition.

Argentina have emerged as favourites this World Cup. Having won the Copa America in 2018 against Brazil, it would be a befitting tribute to Lionel Messi if he capped off his football career with a third World Cup win for his country. Messi is also still in the race for the golden ball and golden boot awards.

Meanwhile in Nagaland, home to late T Ao, the first captain of India national football team, the World Cup excitement has reached fever pitch.  The World Cup buzz is everywhere, be it in the offices, schools, streets, public transports or local pubs.

“Who will the World Cup?” is in every football fan’s lips.

Football pundits and amateurs alike are churning out predictions, betting stakes increased and many a flag replaced at homes and on vehicles.

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Argentina players celebrate at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

“Argentina are my favourites to win because I am a Messi fan and it will be the perfect way to close his international career. The World Cup will be the last major prize missing from his trophy cabinet and winning it will cement his legacy as the greatest footballer of all time. He will be following the likes of Pele, Maradona, Zidane, etc., leading their sides to World Cup wins. It would mark the end of an era in a beautiful way,” said Samuel (name changed), an engineering graduate.

A member of Nagaland Cricket Association is also rooting for the Albicelestes (sky blue and white) team. “After their unfortunate loss to Saudi Arabia (in the first group match), they have sprung back like a wounded tiger and are up again and fighting,” he said.

“Argentina look good to lift their third trophy. The team is organised and they have Messi who is a master in creating openings and assists. Unfortunately, the two teams I support are up against each other in semifinal. Croats deserve a Slava!”,said Choro, an insurance officer.

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Doha: France’s Kylian Mbappe, left, and Poland’s Matty Cash vie for the ball during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Poland, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP/PTI)

“France will win the World Cup 2022 as they are the ‘deepest’ team remaining in the tournament and also have the best goal-scoring machine Kylian Mbappe,” said Kevi, a football enthusiast.

“I am all out for France this time, especially because their manager Didier Deschamps was my all-time favourite midfielder during his heydays. It was he who captained France in their 1998 World Cup win and Euro 2000,” said a 60-year-old retired school teacher.

“I support Croatia and why not? A very small country with a population of just under 4 million reaching the finals last World Cup and the semifinals this World Cup again is nothing short of extraordinary. And they have Luka Modric, one of the greatest midfielders of our generation.

“Thirty seven-years old and still leading his nation to the semifinals is something to root for. Combine that with players like Kovacic and Brozovic, they have one of the most lethal midfields in international football. And the consistent heroics of their goalkeeper, Livakovic, they have the chance to win it all,” an avid Croatian fan remarked.

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Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri, right, celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP/PTI)

“Morocco will win the World Cup because they are the underdogs and it’s thrilling to see new countries winning the Cup so other country also gets inspired,” a standard 12 female student said.

“I support Morocco because they have been the dark horse of this World Cup. Topping their group stage against teams like Belgium and Croatia, they are also the first African nation to reach the semi final of a World Cup so that makes it even more compelling to support them since who doesn’t love a good underdog story,” another college student said.

Which team will be the ultimate champions? It’s anyone’s guess and bet.

By Mirror Desk Updated: Dec 13, 2022 9:44:07 pm
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