The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and we are here to bring you insight on everything that has to do with the prestigious competition. In this article, the focus will be on the World Cup Group C.
This group will be one of the most followed groups in the tournament because of one man, Lionel Messi. Love him or hate him, Lionel Messi is one of the two biggest names in the sport today and the whole world will be watching to see how he will perform in this tournament because world cup trophy for Messi will more or less solidify him as the greatest player of all time.
The Albiceleste are two-time champions of the World Cup. They last triumphed on this stage in 1986 thanks to the brilliance of the late, great Diego Armando Maradona who led them to glory. The last time they made it to the World Cup final was in 2014, where they lost 1-0 to Germany with Mario Goetze scoring an extra time winner in Brazil. The 2018 edition saw them get beat by eventual winners France but they will be looking for revenge in 2022.
The Polish national team, led by the brilliant Robert Lewandowski, will look to make a mark on the competition and put his country on the map in Qatar. The European nation have been regulars to the World Cup recently but have failed to make any tangible impact. This could finally be their year.
Mexico has been North America’s best representative at the World Cup. Though they have been featured at the World Cup consistently, they have not mad any significant waves in the tournament since the 1986 when they were hosts and are yet to win it. This year may not be their year to win the tournament but you never know in this crazy sport.
Saudi Arabia will be making their 6th appearance at the FIFA World Cup. The middle-east nation have qualified for the tournament for the second edition running and they will have to pull of nothing short of a miracle in order to reach the heights they did in 1994, when they got to the last 16 stage. Considering the teams in the group with them, it will be a really tough mountain to climb.
Argentina being seen as favorites to win this group should come as no surprise to anyone. The Albiceleste are current holders of the Copa America and recently won La Finalissima by dismantling Italy. This nation has not lost a football match in three years, a staggering 35 match unbeaten run. If they can keep that run for another seven matches then they will become the World Champions.
With the Argentines the favorites, the battle for second place in the group will most likely be between the Mexicans and the Polish. Both teams have been jointly tipped by most bookies to advance to the next stage, and they will fight tooth and nail to claim that second spot.
Mexico will aim to put their best foot forward in this group and will be able to qualify with strong performances even though the road to the knockout stages is tough.
Robert Lewandowski and his Polish teammates will aim to prove that Poland are more than just spectators at the tournaments but also contenders but they face an uphill battle against mainly Argentina and Mexico.
Not much will be expected of Saudi Arabia. They are one of the lowest ranked nations at the World Cup and on paper, look like they are heavily outmatched as well. It will be very difficult to see them playing more than three games in this tournament even though it isn’t impossible.
· Argentina (2/5)
· Poland (9/2)
· Mexico (9/2)
· Saudi Arabia (19/1)
The Abiceleste are not only favorites to qualify and win this group but one of the favorites to win the entire tournament.
First place in the group could be seen as a forgone conclusion but second place is an entirely different story. According to the odds, it is a toss up between Mexico and Poland for who qualifies from group in second place and it could go down to the final group game for both teams.
The Poles have arguably the best striker in the world, in Robert Lewandowski and the Barcelona goalscorer is supported by the likes of Kristoff Piatek and Piotr Zielinski, who will no doubt complement the quality of Lewandowski.
The Mexicans also have great players themselves. They have Wolves forward Raul Jimenez, who is trying to recover in time to lead the line for his country, alongside Napoli’s Hirving Lozano.
The Mexicans direct threat as stated before will be Poland and the task will be made even more difficult for them by Argentina. They willl need to be on top of their game.
The best player in the group, and maybe the whole tournament is Lionel Messi. Argentina boasts of an array of stars but the Paris Saint-Germain forward shines the brightest.
After a first season that saw him settle into his surroundings, Messi has found form of old and once again looks like his dominant self. His current form will be important for his nation as he looks to win it all in what could be his final World Cup. The all-time leading goal scorer for Argentina had been criticized for not being able to replicate his success for his clubs at international level. He had already silenced his doubters with a Copa America win but a World title will put them to rest for good.
Other important players in the group include Robert Lewandowski, Angel Di Maria, Raul Jimenez, and Salem Al Dawsari of Saudi Arabia.
Lisandro Martinez: The 24-year-old center back has become one of the best defenders in world football in his first season at Manchester United, putting out quality defensive displays on a weekly basis. He will definitely be at the World Cup for Argentina and The Butcher’s good form will be key.
Kacper Kozlowski: The reigning Polish young player of the year has shown his talents and potential at Dutch club Vitesse. He will no doubt get his chance in Qatar to show what he can do.
Diego Lainez: The 22-year-old winger has come into the limelight and is tipped to shine at the Mundial.
Nawar Al Ghamdi: The 23-year-old goalkeeper has been wonderful for Al-Nassr in the domestic league and is the future hands of the national team.