Current vice-champion, Croatia reaches its sixth World Cup still under the baton of Luka Modric, Real Madrid midfielder (Photo / Stuart Franklin – PooL – AFP)
MOROCCO VS CROATIA – UNDER MODRIC, CURRENT RUNNERS CHAMPIONS PREACH RESPECT IN DEBUT
Campinas, SP, 22 (AFI) – Reaching the Russian Cup final, in 2018, was the highest point Croatia reached in the World Cup, but being behind France, only France placed it in the restricted group of teams that can be considered as favourites. the title of this edition in Qatar. His debut will take place this Wednesday, at 7 a.m. (Brasília time) for Group F against Morocco, at the Al Bayt stadium, with a capacity of 60,000 fans and located in the city of Al Khor, just 58km from Doha. Belgium and Canada complete the Group F round at 4 p.m. in the town of Al Rayyan.
Currently runners-up, Croatia have reached their sixth World Cup. It is unclear with what intensity the Croatian team will start the competition. Last time out they kept 100% in the first phase, overtook Argentina in the round of 16 and then showed strength by knocking out England in the semis, only stopping in France.
Considered a force on the African continent, Morocco is in Fifa rankings in 22nd place and also, like Croatia, will begin its sixth participation in the World Cups, without greater ambitions. But they believe they can dream of matching their best campaign, in 1986 in Mexico, when they reached the round of 16. It would be a reward for their fans, which should be numerous given the proximity of Qatar.
GERMANY VS JAPAN – THE 2014 CHAMPION WANTS TO FORGET FIASCO IN RUSSIA
Campinas, SP, 22 (AFI) – Champions in 2014, Germany make their World Cup debut this Wednesday at 10 a.m. to forget once and for all the fiasco of the last edition, disputed in Russia. The first engagement is against Japan, which is in its seventh consecutive participation, alternating between playoffs in the group stage and round of 16.
Germany are under coach Hansi Flick, who was an assistant in 2014. After that, he had a great spell at Bayern Munich, even winning the Champions League. He took over the national team in 2021 and arrives with the mission of regaining the trust of the supporters. If not with a title, at least with a more powerful collective football.
Despite big names like Kimmich, Gündogan and Thomas Müller, the main national team player is Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka. Flick is without forwards Timo Werner, who was injured before his call-up, and Leroy Sané, who will be ruled out on his debut with a knee injury. Thus, the offensive sector should be formed by Kai Havertz, more advanced, and the trio Gnabry, Müller and Musiala in the creative sector.
Japan have been led by coach Hajime Moriyasu since 2018 when he took over after the World Cup with the aim of nurturing a new generation as most of the squad members were over 25. Defender Maya Yoshida and right-back Hiroki Sakai are the only two to retain the position.
Attacking midfielder Junya Ito, from Reims, France, 29, is emerging as one of the main prospects. In the sector, he will be joined by Daichi Kamada, of Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany, and 21-year-old promise Takefusa Kubo, who plays for Real Sociedad, Spain. Daizen Maeda of Celtic, Scotland will be further forward in attack.
SPAIN VS COSTA RICA – WILL YOU BE INSPIRED BY THE LATEST CUPS?
“Total troublemaker. Alcohol aficionado. Social media specialist. Friendly travel nerd.”