The momentum of excitement is building, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is ready to commence. Between 20 November and 18 December, the tiny Middle East country will host the greatest football spectacle on Earth, with billions of people watching from every corner of the globe. The upcoming tournament also features an extra-special narrative, featuring a certain iconic player and his national team.
Clash of South American Titans
Having lifted the trophy on five separate occasions, not team has enjoyed more World Cup success than Brazil, who are tipped to continue their history of achievement. Heading into the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar, they are firm favourites with the vast majority of bookmakers, along with receiving the most backing from eager punters. But they also have serious contenders for the title they aim to claim, hailing from their own continent.
The rivalry between Brazil and Argentina is one of the biggest in football, as both countries are fiercely proud of their football cultures and traditions, while both are also amongst the most successful nations in tournament history. Along with lifting the trophy five times, Brazil has also reached the final seven times, finishing as runners-up twice. Argentina has appeared in five finals, winning the title twice and forced to settle as runners-up three times.
But whenever these two remarkable football nations are involved in a World Cup, there are always expected to be fireworks, even if they don’t happen to cross paths at the tournament itself. What’s more, there is an added incentive for Argentina this time around, as their finest player may not be appearing at another tournament, once this one is done. For this reason, Lionel Messi has ambitious aims of making this particular World Cup his best ever.
Interestingly, the bookmakers are also increasingly confident he can fulfil that obligation. Comparing the latest World Cup outright winner market odds, using expert site reviews via SBO as the key source of reliable information, Argentina are fast becoming hot favourites themselves. Their odds have fallen sharply in recent weeks, largely due to Messi and his national team enjoying a fabulous unbeaten run.
Argentina has gone 35 games without one single loss, dating back to 2019. This also puts them just 3 games from surpassing the international football record of Italy, who went 37 games unbeaten between 2018 and 2021. The previous record of 35, which Argentina has now equalled, was originally set by none other than Brazil between 1993 and 1996, before being matched by Spain from 2007 to 2009.
Don’t Cry For Me Argentina
One iconic player stands above any other in Argentine football culture. Diego Maradona lived a remarkable life, filled with both glorious highs and infamous lows, yet his legacy will always be dominated by remarkable talent and success on the pitch. His greatest and most spellbinding displays came at the 1986 World Cup, when he dazzled the crowds and almost single-handedly, led his national team to the ultimate triumph.
Despite having achieved everything else possible in the beautiful game, winning the World Cup still evades Lionel Messi, and for this reason alone, he will never be considered greater than Maradona. The 2022 tournament in Qatar could also be his last opportunity, having once retired from international football, only to return and lead Argentina to success in the 2021 Copa America. The ‘peace of mind’ that victory brought, cannot be understated.
Don’t cry for me, Argentina
The truth is, I never left you
All through my wild days, my mad existence
I kept my promise
Don’t keep your distance
Those lyrics are from the hit musical Evita, a modern classic with an Argentine theme, while the song itself is famous around the whole globe. Those words also suitably describe the relationship of Lionel Messi with fans of his national team, patiently waiting for him to achieve the most important honour. His brilliant abilities have brought forth one continental trophy, now it’s time for him to bring home the biggest prize of all – the World Cup trophy.
It is the one promise this magical maestro has yet to keep. If he can lift the iconic golden trophy in Qatar, we can be certain that Argentina fans won’t be keeping their distance. Messi will rightfully be hailed as the GOAT – Greatest Of All Time – amongst the adoring fans of his home country. It would be truly spectacular, especially given this will undoubtedly be his final international tournament, affording him the opportunity to bow out in a blaze of glory.