With the FIFA World Cup 2022 looming and only weeks away from its opening game, the strong force of the European region has shown weaknesses in their recent UEFA Nations League games. Such a phenomenon could suggest a shift of dominance to other sides of the world in Qatar 2022.
The Brazillians last won the World Cup in Japan and Korea 2002. Since then, members of the UEFA have been dominating the highest stage of country football competition, with Italy, Spain, Germany and France emerging winners for the past four tournaments. However, these European powerhouses that are also the favourites to win the World Cup this year have been in poor form. Teams namely France, England, Spain and Germany currently occupy the no. 2, no. 4, no. 6 and no. 12 positions in the FIFA ranking, but they have all dropped points against their weaker opponents recently.
The defending world champions, Les Bleus only avoided relegation from the top tier of the Nations League by a whisker, with only one win from six matches in the competition, but their English counterparts were not as lucky as they have been relegated to League B after a winless run in the entire tournament. Spain was perhaps the luckiest of the four as they progressed to the semifinal of the competition but they too have lost to Switzerland at home while Die Nationalmannschaft only managed 7 points out of a possible 18 in their six group fixtures.
The challenges players have to cope before this year’s World Cup are no joke. Not only the FIFA World Cup 2022 is first played in the Arabic region, a mid-season major tournament also hints that players, especially those who are playing for the top clubs in Europe might be fatigued from their club commitments and struggle to find chemistry in the national team with insufficient pre-tournament training camps and friendlies. The worst case scenario of such a circumstance could even breed the possibility of a no-win situation for clubs and countries when they lose players to injuries suffered from too many games played.
It will be unfair to say only European players are heavily affected by the arrangement of this year’s World Cup in Qatar; For the first time ever, every professional player will be dealt with such a strange period in their football career. But bear in mind that the level of competition played in the UEFA region is definitely higher than that of other countries, with its fixtures having already taken a toll against the giants in Europe.
(Photo Credits: The Sun Daily)