Qatar 2022, European hegemony at risk without the ‘battleship’ Germany and Belgium

The balance sees the Old Continent ahead of the South American national teams with 12 titles to 9

The sensational elimination of the Germany in the group stage of Qatar 2022and the flop of Belgium, second in the Fifa ranking, is reducing the hopes of the Old Continent of maintaining football hegemony over the world cup. In the 21 previous editions of the World Cup, from Uruguay 1930 to Russia 2018, the balance sheet sees the European national teams clearly ahead of the South American ones with 12 wins to 9.

To date, the victory in the World Cup has been the prerogative of the two continents, but the exploit of Japan (first in group E with 2 victories against Spain and Germany) and the good performances of the African teams, with Morocco, first in group F , and Senegal, do not exclude sensational surprises. Outside Germany, 4 World Cup wins, and with the Azzurri not even qualified, 4 World Cups for us too, the Old Continent sees 3 national teams in the running that can boast the title: reigning champion France (successes in 1998 and 2018) , Spain, which saved itself from elimination by the skin of the cuff (a success in South Africa 2010) and England which won the Mundial back in 1966, plus the vice-world champions Croatia and the ever fearsome Holland, besides Poland. Switzerland and Serbia are also in the running, facing each other today in the last day of group G.

For the South Americans, the good performances in the matches against Serbia and Switzerland make Brazil, 5 world titles under their belt, a strong candidate for final success, Argentina recovering (2 titles won in 1978 and 1986) which after leaving shock against Saudi Arabia ended group C at the top by beating both Mexico and Poland 2-0. The most poised of the 3 South Americans that can boast a success at the World Cup is Uruguay (champion in 1930 and 1950) ready to play all this afternoon in the direct match against Ghana: Celeste, last in group H with 1 point, needs a success to overtake the African national team, 3 points, then hoping that Portugal, with full points with 6, does not lose with South Korea stopped at 1.

Among the continents in the race, a representative from Oceania is still in the running, Australia, in its sixth participation, has detached the pass for the round of 16: it is the second time for the ‘socceroos’ after Germany 2006 where they were eliminated from Italy then World Champion.