BARCELONA YOUNGSTER COULD GET WORLD CUP CALL-UP OVER VETERAN

With the FIFA World Cup 2022 set to kick off in a little under three weeks, the excitement is starting to mount ahead of the quadrennial extravaganza. The qualified teams will soon start naming squads for the tournament, with a few nations already releasing the provisional rosters. Spain manager Luis Enrique will be keeping a close eye on proceedings over the next couple of weeks as he will be naming his final squad for the World Cup on November 10. Of the many major decisions that Lucho will have to take, the left-back position will pose a major challenge for the former Barcelona manager, given the riches that Spain have in that position.

Indeed, the likes of Jose Gaya, Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Marc Cucurella and Javi Galan are some of the options that could be in contention for a spot in the Spain squad. But according to La Razon, another new name has been thrown into the ring and that is none other than Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde. The 18-year-old is enjoying a fine breakthrough campaign at Barça, becoming the first-choice left-back under Xavi Hernandez ahead of Alba and Alonso. So far, he has played 11 times in all competitions for the Catalans, registering three assists in the process.

SOME UNDER-23 STARS WERE REALLY EXCITED TO SEE AT THE QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP

Every time the tournament rolls around there are inevitably a couple of young players who stand out and make the entire world take note. With only a couple of months to go until another highly-anticipated World Cup, we’ve taken a look at some players under the age of 23 who are set to shine on the biggest stage.
Jude Bellingham – England

Bellingham has been a wonderkid for so long it’s a wonder he’s still a kid. But that he is, a mere 19 years old with stacks of potential. Real Madrid, Manchester City and Liverpool have been linked incessantly with the teenager, who enjoyed another strong season with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga in 2021-22 and has started well this term.
Eduardo Camavinga – France
If you’re at Real Madrid at 19 and cost €40million you’re doing pretty well. That’s very much the case for Camavinga, who is one of European football’s brightest prospects and has been for some time.
Aurelien Tchouameni – France

NEYMAR VITAL TO BRAZIL WINNING WORLD CUP, SAYS FORMER BRAZILIAN STAR

Neymar Jr. has a lot of pressure on his shoulders during the 2022-23 season as the 30-year-old won’t be counted on to help Paris Saint-Germain to help them win the UEFA Champions League, but there’s also the FIFA World Cup in November. The tournament in Qatar will mark Neymar’s third and could be his last. Nonetheless, former World Cup winner and fellow Brazilian Ronaldo believes that the Seleção could win the competition with the PSG star focused and healthy during an interview with Olé.

Ronaldo told the Argentine publication that the Brazilian team is going to be the favorite in any competition because of the talent they have. He also added that he thinks if Neymar is 100 percent physically and focused on the World Cup, the Brazilian national team will have a good chance of winning the title. The former striker also stated that the Selecao have a great assembly of players overall but the team is different not only physically but also technically. According to Ronaldo, if Neymar does arrives well, he will make the difference and the chances of the Brazil national team winning the world cup will increase a lot.

FIFA, QATAR PREPARE BEER POLICY FOR FOOTBALL FANS AT 2022 WORLD CUP

Beer with alcohol is expected to be sold at World Cup stadiums in Qatar but fans may be allowed to take only non-alcoholic drinks to their seats. FIFA and Qatari organizers are still working on plans to serve all fans who want to drink at games when the tournament starts in November in the Muslim-majority country. Hospitality packages offering premium beverages at stadiums have been sold since February 2021 but a policy for most fans at the eight venues and long-time World Cup sponsor Budweiser still needs to be finalized less than five months before the tournament.

The favored option is serving beer with alcohol in stadium compounds before and after games and allowing fans to take non-alcoholic Budweiser Zero to their seats. We will be confirming and making things official in due course, FIFA said on Friday in a statement. FIFA said designs are still being looked into of possible branding for drinking containers fans would hold in areas that will be broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers. The 2022 World Cup is the first in the tournament's 92-year history to be played in a Muslim country with such strict social taboos around alcohol.

WALES FINALLY END WORLD CUP WAIT

Wales will make a return to the World Cup stage in Qatar at the end of this year after they qualified by beating Ukraine in the playoffs. The Welsh team would be at the World Cup 2022 tournament in Qatar after seeing off Austria and Ukraine in their playoff path. Wales have qualified for the World Cup tournament for the first time in over six decades.


The Welsh team qualified for the European playoffs ahead of the World Cup 2022 tournament after finishing second behind Belgium in their group. They were then drawn with Austria, Ukraine and fellow Home Nations Scotland in path A of the World Cup 2022 playoffs in the European section. Wales got Austria in the one of the semifinals, while Scotland and Ukraine were drawn together in the other semifinal.

QATAR 2022: GERMANY HANDED TRICKY GROUP

Immediate past world champions Germany have been handed a tricky group after the draw for the World Cup 2022 tournament in Qatar was held on the first day of last month. The Germans won the World Cup title for the fourth time in their history at the 2014 edition in Brazil to draw level with Italy and move one behind Brazil who have won the most World Cup tournaments. The Brazilians have won five World Cup titles, but they have not been able to add to the five titles since beating Germany 2-0 in the 2002 World Cup final to win their fifth title.


For the World Cup 2022 tournament on Qatari soil, five-time winners Germany have been drawn in the same group alongside fellow former winners Spain, Asian nation Japan and the winner of the inter-confederation playoffs between New Zealand and Costa Rica. The Germans are in Group E for the World Cup 2022 tournament

SAKA, XHAKA FIRE ARSENAL TO VICTORY

Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka were prominent as Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-1 at home to boost their top-four hopes at the end of this season. Both Saka and Xhaka found the back of the net as they help fire the Gunners to an important win in the Premier League as they try to reach their target of a top-four spot at the end of the season.


Arsenal made a bright start when controversial Portuguese fullback Nuno Tavares scored for the home team inside three minutes after Saka capitalised on the uncertain defending from the Manchester United duo of Alex Telles and Raphael Varane to get his shot away with David De Gea saving it in the United goal before Tavares scored the rebound from close range.

EX-LIVERPOOL PLAYER TAKES CHARGE OF CAMEROON TEAM

At the recent Africa Cup of Nations, the Portuguese coach led Cameroon to the bronze medal on home soil in the continental finals. He also ensured Cameroon maintain a chance to progress to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, but those feats were not enough to keep him at the helm of the West African nation after the authorities revealed that Song would be appointed as the new manager.


Sports minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi said Cameroonian president Paul Biya has ordered the national football federation to give the job to ex-Liverpool defender Song. In a statement released by Kombi, on very high instructions from the President of the Republic, the coach of the men’s national football team, Mr Antonio Conceicao, has been replaced by Rigobert Song,

CANADA TAKES A MASSIVE WORLD CUP LEAP

The only time that the Canadian National team had been at the World Cup was far back in 1986. Then the World Cup was still a 24-team format competition, with the team failing to win a single game. Since then the nation has failed to secure qualification at the games which have been a huge cause of concern.

Things are about to change this time, as the team has almost sealed participation in the World Cup in Qatar. John Herdmen’s side has been the most impressive team in 2021, and they have are almost close to achieving the world cup qualification. There are three automatic places up for grabs in the CONCACAF standings with Canada currently in first place. Canada has already secured a fourth-place finish, with the fourth-place team facing the winners in Oceania in a single qualifying game.

MORENO, NEYMAR TOP GOALSCORERS' LIST

Bolivia marksman Marcelo Moreno and Brazilian star Neymar are at the top of the list of goalscorers in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers as far as the South American region is concerned.

Moreno has been in very good form for Bolivia who are surprisingly still in contention to bag a spot in Qatar later this year. The Bolivians are in eighth position on the South American standings ahead of the World Cup 2022 tournament after recording 15 points from 14 games, but significantly, they are two points off fifth-placed Peru who occupy the inter-confederation playoffs spot and also two points off Colombia in fourth place which is the last automatic spot for the teams in South America.

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