“In Qatar, the most unpredictable World Cup in history? »

HASfter twelve years of twists and turns in the extra-sporting sections, will this World Cup like no other also hold some surprises in the field? It presents itself, in any case, as summarized by the site The Athleticas “the most unpredictable in history”.

If sporting uncertainty has receded in European club competitions under the effect of the concentration of economic means within a small oligarchy, it has retained some vigor in national competitions. Partly because of the weakening of this selection football compared to club football.

The cards seem completely reshuffled from one World Cup to another, when it is not between a World Cup and a Euro. Italy, absent from Russia in 2018, European champion in 2021, did not qualify for Qatar… Reading the future in the qualification courses is just as misleading: the history of a final phase is written on a blank sheet.

Read also: World Cup 2022: for Italian football, reconstruction or downgrading

The adage that “there are no more small teams” has particularly held true in recent tournaments. Faced with major nations whose internationals arrive exhausted, even demotivated, after grueling seasons, and whose preparations are improvised, the “small teams” play several cards to reduce the gap.

“Big” weakened selections

Like Iceland (Euro 2016 quarter-finalist) or Wales (semi-finalist), some set up ambitious preparation programs, to which the players adhere. Galvanized by the patriotic stakes and by supporters who move en masse, they sometimes manage to thwart the forecasts and reverse the balance of power.

More fragile than they seem, the “big” selections are exposed to industrial accidents, without even mentioning the curse of the title holder – none having managed to keep it since Brazil in 1958-1962, at the Like Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018, eliminated in the group stage.

The ego of the stars, who pursue their own statistical goals and tend to cannibalize attention, when it is not the game, compromises the essential group spirit. Such Cristiano Ronaldowhose moods annoy his Portuguese teammates.

This fall World Cup adds new unknowns to the equation. Forceps inserted into an overloaded calendar, it reduces the physical and tactical preparation of the teams to almost nothing, leaving only one week between the end of club competitions and the start of the tournament, against four to five usually.

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