Before FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Begins,
Let’s Pick Up Where We Left Off

Before FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Begins, Let’s Pick Up Where We Left Off

Though the last World Cup took place across different cities throughout Russia four years ago, France’s thrilling victory against Croatia in the finals still rings fresh in the minds of football fans worldwide. Before the matches begin this November, let’s look back at moments to remember in the 2018 World Cup as we anticipate the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Audience

FIFA reported that a record of 3.572 billion people tuned in for the 2018 World Cup in Russia whereas the finals was watched live by a combined number of 1.2 billion people worldwide. Chief Commercial Officer of FIFA, Philippe Le Floc’h stated that these figures and the increased average watch time of viewers are proof that Russia 2018 was the best World Cup ever, as it reflects their commendable live coverage. Looks like Qatar 2022 has a lot to live up to!

Rankings

Victoriously receiving their trophy amidst the Moscow summer rain, France claims its title as the FIFA World Cup 2018 winner. This is the second World Cup winning title in the history of France since their first in 1998. Croatia comes in as runner-up after its face-off with France resulting in a 4-2, while Belgium and England come in 3rd and 4th respectively after being defeated in the semi-final tournaments. 

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA

Source: FIFA

Final Goals

He shoots, he scores! Kylian Mbappe (Forward), Antoine Griezmann (Forward), and Paul Pogba (Midfielder) all scored gratifying goals in the final match. Unfortunately for Croatia, an own-goal by Mario Mandzukic also played a part in handing France their win. 

19-year-old Kylian Mbappe at the time became the second teenager in history to score a goal in a World Cup Final since 17-year-old Pele in 1958. Mbappe’s performance made him the talk of France, and the world. All eyes on the now 23-year-old as he prepares for the 2022 FIFA tournaments.

Who to Look Out For

Potentially The Last World Cups for These Football Legends

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be the 5th for football veterans Cristiano Ronaldo (37) and Lionel Messi (35), and may very well be their last. Aside from the two, many football-defining names we know as Kareem Benzema., Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, and more may bid goodbyes to their international careers this year as well. So keep your eyes on these stars and cheer your heart out as they might not be returning to the World Cup fields as players in 2026.

Potentially The Last World Cups for These Football Legends

Harry Kane (England)

Kane will be captaining the England team into Qatar for the World Cup. While playing for Tottenham and scoring 6 goals in 7 games during the tournaments in 2018, he was awarded the Golden Boot. Branded as one of the best centre-forwards and strikers in the world, it is evident through Kane’s performance in the second half of the 2021/22 Premier League that he is well prepared to conquer the World Cup tournaments once again. 

Harry Kane_England

Luka Modrić (Croatia)

Alongside Ronaldo, Messi, and Benzema, the 2022 World Cup is most probably Modrić’s last as well. Luka Modrić was awarded the Golden Ball, recognising the midfielder as the tournament’s best player in 2018. The 37-year-old has expressed that age is not a big factor in winning. He also shared that Croatia’s present squad is even better than last year, and that they are ready to compete for everything. So keep watch as Croatia plays against Belgium, Canada, and Morocco in this year’s World Cup.

Luka Modrić_Croatia

Kylian Mbappe (France)

Having won best young player at the 2018 World Cup and consistently proving his superb skills on the field, the Paris Saint-Germain star is set to play for the France national team again this year. No doubt, Mbappe is one of the standout performers many are looking forward to seeing again. 

However, the French national team manager Didier Deschamps is pleading with PSG to give Mbappe a breather before the World Cup tournaments. The 23-year-old has only missed one game in the season so far and is still due for more as PSG have 11 other games lined up before November. Though it looks like PSG coach, Christopher Galtier is adamant on not moving his star player to the bench.

Let’s just hope by the time the World Cup rolls around, Mbappe will still be at his best to match France’s achievement once again in Qatar.

Kylian Mbappe_France

Neymar Jr. (Brazil)

Brazil has lifted the most World Cup titles in history, and Neymar happens to be carrying the burden of bringing his country to triumph once again. As one of the top goalscorers in the game with 74 goals out of his 119 appearances, if he wins the national team Seleção another World Cup title, it would be the country’s 6th since their last in 2022 and Neymar’s first. 

Neymar Jr._Brazil

Son Heung Min (South Korea)

Other than being a joy to his teammates and fans, Son has shown that he is extremely capable of scoring some of the most jaw-dropping goals as a striker throughout his career with the Tottenham Hotspurs. Son had been going through a goal drought in the Premier League this season, but as the first Asian to earn the EPL’s Golden Boot prize with 30 international goals and counting to his name, he is still expected to excel with his usual world-class quality alongside the South Korean national team in Qatar.

Son Heung Min_South Korea

What Are The 2022 World Cup Odds?

After 4 long-awaited years, the full field of qualified teams for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is finally confirmed. Will France, reigning World Cup title holder, match their 2018 win? Or will the most successful team of tournament history, Brazil, take back the Cup? The usual favourites sit atop the odds board, but of course, always expect twists in events. 

Check out the latest odds of this year’s World Cup to place your bets to:

Team Odds of Winning 2022 World Cup
Brazil 9/2
England 13/2
France 5/1
Argentina 7/1
Spain 8/1
Germany 9/1
Portugal 14/1
Netherlands 12/1
Belgium 14/1
Denmark 28/1
Croatia 50/1
Uruguay 40/1
Switzerland 66/1
Senegal 80/1
USA 150/1
Poland 150/1
Serbia 100/1
Ecuador 150/1
Mexico 80/1
Canada 500/1
Wales 100/1
Cameroon 250/1
Japan 250/1
Morocco 250/1
South Korea 250/1
Australia 500/1
Ghana 250/1
Qatar 500/1
Tunisia 500/1
Saudi Arabia 750/1
Iran 500/1
Costa Rica 750/1

Brazil

2022 World Cup-Brazil

Brazil is a unanimous bookie’s favourite on the odds board as many anticipate the country’s chances of extending their record of 5 tournament victories. Drawn into Group G with Serbia, Cameroon, and Switzerland for the 2022 World Cup, it’s now up to Neymar Jr., Vinicius Jr., and team to put an end to Seleção’s drought and bring home the winning title once more.

England

2022 World Cup-England

Despite the disappointment brought by England’s loss in the 2020 Euro finals due to penalties, England is still a strong contender as it sits with Brazil and France on the odds board. The full England squad that will be competing in Qatar against Iran, USA, and Wales has yet to be released. But with the likes of brilliant talents such as Harry Kane leading a team of players presumably young but reliable, England has a good chance of winning the international title as well. 

France

2022 World Cup-France

The reigning World Cup champions places firmly at 3rd most likely to win. Les Bleus may have blown their shot at winning the 2020 Euros in the quarter finals, but we cannot deny they have shown time and time again that the talent in Les Bleus is nothing less than world-class. So we can expect to see them defend, or at least try their best to defend their existing title as they face Denmark, Tunisia, and Australia in Group D.

Place Your Bets Now on i8 x Saba App!

Now that you’re aware of the top 3 on the odds board, who will you be betting on?  As of now, the safer option would be to bet on Brazil, albeit a lower payout than if you were to pull a wild card and bet on say, Senegal (not advisable). 

Wherever you make your choice, there’s no better place than to bet on the i8 x Saba App! Access Saba from the i8 online sportsbook app and check odds comparisons through the in-app tab before placing your actual bets. Members will get to watch the matches live this coming November/December AND place bets at the same time on the same app. No distractions – everything you need is right in front of you with i8 x Saba Sports. 

Available on all devices – Download now and see you at the World Cup!


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