These 5 countries, which are not favorites for the top World Cup event, can be big surprises. Their football and good results support them .
Photos: TW-dbufodbold, TW-LaTri
LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez
Listen to this article
Leer en español: Las 5 selecciones que pueden sorprender en Qatar 2022
With less than a month to go before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, there are teams that, after the last FIFA date, have confirmed that the event will not only go to participate, but that they will seek to compete above what is expected.
Selections in which, although in some cases they are expected to pass the first round and be able to transcend, they are not currently on the list of countries called to stand out, either because of the groups in which they fell, for the moment currently or for its football tradition. However, in this list we give you the necessary arguments so that you do not lose track of these teams, because it is very likely that more than one of these could surprise in Qatar.
You may also be interested in: The ideal 11 of South American soccer players who do not go to the World Cup
Semi-finalist of the last European Championship and with an almost perfect qualifier heading to Qatar (nine wins and one loss), Denmark is currently one of the best European teams. With a variability of schemes (they can play 3-4-3, 5-4-1 or 4-3-3), with an ideal mixture of experience and youth (Schmeichel, Kjaer, Delaney, Eriksen, Wass and Braithwaithe contribute experience, and Skov Olsen, Damsgaard, Hojlund and Lindstrom the opposite), those of Kasper Hjulmand could be the great surprise of this World Cup. In the last two games played, they lost to Croatia (2-1), but got a great win against France (2-0). With the latter they will meet again, but this time in Qatar.
They triumphed against Qatar 2-0 and defeated Uruguay by the same difference, results that left more doubts than certainties, but that should not put in doubt that Canada can stand out in Qatar. Englishman John Herdman's team made an extraordinary tie, led the octagonal almost from start to finish and qualified for a World Cup after 36 years of absence. It is true that they are in a difficult group – they share a zone with Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco – but led by Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, the Canadians have more than reason to get excited.
It is the best Asian team (according to the FIFA ranking). They had two coaches in the qualifying process and, finally, ended the contract of the one who classified them with some ease (Croatian Dragan Skocic). In the midst of this situation, the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, who could not qualify either Colombia or Egypt for the World Cup, and who led Iran for almost eight years, will once again lead Iran in a World Cup event. It will be the third in a row for the Portuguese under Iran (the fourth in his career). The victory by the minimum difference against Uruguay and a 1-1 draw against Senegal on the last FIFA date, increased the expectations of trying to overcome the group stage for the first time in its history. And who knows, after all, in the last World Cup, Iran got four points in the so-called "group of death", having as rivals Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Now, their rivals will be England, the United States and Wales.
Despite falling into one of the most difficult groups (they will face Spain, Germany and Costa Rica) and not being one of the favorite teams to advance to the round, Japan promises to be a headache for all the rivals they face in Qatar. Those led by Hajime Moriyasu have a squad where most of their players play in European football. Likewise, it has players at a high level or in very good teams, such as Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Takumi Minamino (Monaco) or Ritsu Doan (Freiburg) . In their last two games, they defeated the United States 2-0 with authority and tied 0-0 against Ecuador, consolidating a game idea and showing that they can compete with the starting or alternative team (they used different line-ups in both games).
After finishing in fourth place in the South American Qualifiers, Ecuador aspires to overcome the first phase of the World Cup for the second time in its history, but the task does not seem easy. In the group stage they will have to face Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal . With a large part of its players in European football, and with young talents who are beginning to make a difference such as Moisés Caicedo (Brighton), Gonzalo Plata (Valladolid), Jeremy Sarmiento (Brighton), Pervis Estupiñán (Brighton) or Piero Hincapié (Leverkusen) , those of Gustavo Alfaro are one of the teams to consider. Although, as a point to improve, there is the lack of a goal. In the last friendlies they drew 0-0 against Saudi Arabia and Japan.