PORTO, Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo is headed to Qatar, however Mohamed Salah isn’t, and neither is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose dream of turning into the primary participant on the sector to shut the 16-year hole between showing on the World Cup is dashed late. , a fruitless various rescue work for Sweden in Poland.
All World Cups are held with no less than one main participant or main nation failing to qualify, however because the European and African divisions draw to an in depth (the battle in Ukraine means one place nonetheless must be allotted within the UEFA area), the absentees are beginning with large names. to seem.
Salah, the Liverpool striker, this yr’s Ballon d’Or winner, suffered the heartbreak of his second penalty shootout in lower than two months as Egypt missed out on qualification by shedding to Senegal – a repeat of their Africa Cup of Nations last loss to Senegal. The identical group.
Ibrahimovic, who will probably be 41 when Qatar 2022 kicks off, might neglect returning to the World Cup stage for the primary time – and presumably the final, however who is aware of with Zlatan? – Since his failure to attain in Germany 2006 after getting back from worldwide retirement, he has not come out with a outcome. Robert Lewandowski’s second-half penalty in Chorzow put Poland heading in the right direction for a 2-0 win and qualification for Qatar, making certain that the Bayern Munich striker – to many observers, the very best striker of the match – could be in soccer. The most important celebration is when the World Cup finals happen in November and December.
Salah and Ibrahimovic will be part of Norwegian Erling Haaland, who scored twice within the 9-0 win over Armenia on Tuesday, within the absence of the World Cup. Two of the largest soccer stars of the second and a participant who has been on the forefront of the sport for over a decade, none of them will probably be in Qatar. And we did not even point out Italy, which grew to become the primary European champion since Greece (winner in 2004) to fail to qualify for the World Cup.
FIFA could be grateful that no less than Ronaldo and his star-studded Portuguese squad will probably be in Qatar. Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Lewandowski will all deliver their celebs and sophistication to the match, however none of them could be described as the following era, and even gamers at their peak. All three have been superstars of the trendy sport, however Qatar will virtually definitely be their final World Cup last.
Haaland might have led the brand new wave had Norway certified, however there are nonetheless sufficient stars heading to Qatar who can make sure the highlight doesn’t routinely shine on the previous guard of Ronaldo, Messi and Lewandowski.
Sadio Mane penalty sealed in opposition to Egypt qualifying for Senegal, so the Liverpool striker will get an opportunity to do what Salah can not by main his nation to the World Cup and presumably serving to an African nation attain the semi-finals for the primary time.
Kylian Mbappe, who confirmed his star standing along with his efficiency within the 2018 World Cup last in France in opposition to Croatia, Qatar will see a chance to oust Ronaldo and Messi from the highest of the elite soccer rankings, whereas seeing Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling. They will even look to this World Cup as their likelihood to show their world greatness.
Germany’s Kai Havertz, France’s Christopher Nkunko and Spain’s Pedri might emerge as the celebrities of the World Cup in Qatar.
However whereas all eyes will probably be on Ronaldo when Portugal play in Qatar, their play-off performances in opposition to Turkey and North Macedonia highlighted the standard of Fernando Santos’ squad. Portugal is not solely depending on Ronaldo.
Ronaldo’s teammate in Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes, scored two targets to win in Porto over North Macedonia, who had eradicated Italy within the semi-finals of the playoffs, and the World Cup would undoubtedly be a greater match for his presence and the presence of Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota and Porto Ottavio winger.
Portugal can defend too, and whereas they’ve a deep reserve of ahead aptitude, there is no such thing as a scarcity of high quality in protection, with 39-year-old Pepe nonetheless organizing and defending brilliantly. He and Danilo had been nice in opposition to North Macedonia.
However though Portugal could be one of many main nations in Qatar, the group would have been even greater if Italy, Salah, Halland and Ibrahimovic had certified for the World Cup.
Of their absence, others will make headlines, and Ronaldo could also be certainly one of them. Qatar 2022 wouldn’t have been the identical with out him.