The last time a Latin American team won a World Cup competition was Brazil in the 2002 Korea-Japan event. So, it’s been 20 years since a South American team won a World Cup trophy. European teams' dominance may well be over this year, as both Argentina and Brazil are considered hot favorurites for Qatar World Cup. Let’s examine which team's prospects look better for winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Argentina’s team tactics and key players
Argentina's biggest strength is their coach, Lionel Scaloni, who knows what it takes to get the best of their players. When Scaloni took over the head coaching role in 2018, the Argentine side was in disarray following a disappointing loss to France in the Round of 16 in Russia 2018. Scaloni had to make some tactical adjustments in order to get the results he wanted.
Lionel Scaloni has made sure that Argentina remains rock solid in defense and creates an attack from behind. His plan soon started to work perfectly, and in the last two years, results have been in their favour. Argentina have remained unbeaten in 35 matches, winning two trophies (the Copa America 2021 and the 2022 Finalissima).
Under Scaloni, Argentina plays in 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formations. Argentina's backline remains solid thanks to these two systems, and two wings should be able to go forward on the attack. Besides, the defensive midfielder and central midfielder are focal points for controlling the game.
Argentina’s main weapon is Lionel Messi, who creates and scores goals. But he needs good support from the players. Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes are the two players who link up well with the Argentine genius playing in the midfield. Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, and Julian Alvarez will be key players upfront to make a solid attack on the opposition's defense. Besides, Romero, Lisandro Martinez, and Otamendi will be key players in the defense.
Brazil’s team tactics and key players
Brazil won the Copa America trophy under head coach Tite in the 2019 Copa America, but his side lost to arch-rivals Argentina 1-0 in the last year’s final at home. However, Brazil had a fantastic FIFA World Cup 2022 CONMEBOL qualification, finishing top with 45 points.
Brazil had a good preparation for the World Cup. They won by big margins against their opponents in friendly matches, showing their prowess in the attacking half. Their defense is also among the best in the world; opponents struggle to find the back of the net against Brazil's goalpost. Head coach Tite usually uses 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 formations to make the defense line strong. In this system, defenders, midfielders, and forwards all have to play important roles in going forward and defending with solidity.
Neymar Jr. will be Brazil's main attacking weapon. But he is not the only option for the Selecao; there are other options too. Vinicius Jr., Richarlison, Raphinha, Rodrygo, and Antony are all prolific and proven goal scorers. Veteran Casemiro will lead Brazil's midfield. Lucas Paqueta, Bruno Guimaraes, and Fabinho will play vital roles as well in midfield. Brazil have world-class defenders in Danilo, Marquinhos, and Eder Militao, and captain Thiago Silva will be in charge of keeping the defense disciplined.
Argentina’s route to the Qatar World Cup final 2022
Argentina will play in Group C, where they will meet Saudi Arabia on November 22, Mexico on November 26, and Poland on November 30. Argentina are expected to finish at the top of Group C.
Argentina will face Group D runner-up if they finish top in their group. In this scenario, they may face either Denmark or France in the Round of 16. They could face Senegal or the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. They could then face their archrivals, Brazil, in the semi-finals. Argentina’s opponent in the final could be France or Germany. These predictions are solely based on the team’s current form, FIFA rankings, and strength.
Brazil’s route to the Qatar World Cup final 2022
Brazil will play in Group G, where they will meet Serbia on November 24, Switzerland on November 28, and Cameroon on December 2. Brazil are expected to finish at the top of Group G.
Brazil will face Group H runner-up if they finish top in their group. In this scenario, they may face Portugal, Ghana, or Uruguay in the Round of 16. Germany, Spain, or Belgium could be their quarterfinal opponent and archrival. Argentina may meet them in the semifinals. Brazil may face off against Germany or France in the all-important final if they qualify.
Argentina haven’t lost a match in more than two years, while Brazil dominated the qualifiers and topped the competition. As a result, it is extremely difficult to distinguish between Brazil and Argentina in terms of who has a better chance of winning the upcoming mega event. Both teams are equally favourites to win the Qatar World Cup, which would end the recent World Cup drought for Latin American sides.