Every national team has its stars. The success of any team depends, among other things, on the form of its leaders – the same applies to national teams. There are no passengers at the World Cup in Qatar – there was hope for a sensation from the Asian teams, but it didn’t come true.
Gareth Southgate’s main strength at the 2022 World Cup is the wing players. The centre-back options are less plentiful, but the selection is appropriate for the “three lions”.
In the match with the USA, Americans switched off their attacking options but created more than one threat through quick exits from defence and a more than 90% success rate in the final third. Pulisic’s shot on the crossbar, a moment created literally out of nothing, is the best indication of this team’s danger and capability level. However, the USA is aiming for a real profit later on. You can visit WynnBet in New Jersey to bet on football at every event, including the 2026 FIFA World Cup, hosted by three North American neighbours – Mexico, Canada and the USA.
For the first match (against Iran), the Mount-Bellingham-Rice trio got off to a flying start. The English broke up the opponent’s penalty area but conceded two goals on their own – the central line needed stabilization. To this end, the head coach returned Jordan Henderson to the starting line-up. The experienced player allowed the English to add intensity to their pressing. The Liverpool midfielder added to Rice’s aggression and assisted Bellingham’s attack with reliability, and it was with him that Southgate finally found the optimal squad.
As for the back line, Gareth stubbornly distrusts Trent and puts on Shaw and Walker. Both are reasonably experienced players, withstanding and setting a high tempo, but also reliable in their area.
A Ballon d’Or winner could have completed France’s star-studded attack – but Karim Benzema could not make it to the 2022 World Cup. The impact on the attacking potential of the squad is made less by the other forwards.
Olivier Giroud has long been on his way to becoming the top scorer in national team history. The 36-year-old does not have the status of a global star like Ronaldo, Messi or Lewandowski. His strength lies elsewhere – he puts himself at his team’s disposal and plays for his partners. That is visible in Olivier’s role as he lures opponents on (like De Paul in Argentina) and creates space for Kylian Mbappe.
It may be the reason why Giroud’s record will be broken shortly – Mbappe already has a phenomenal physique, and Olivier’s actions help him even more.
There’s no doubt about Kylian’s status – he’s already scored five goals in Qatar, leading France to victory over Poland and putting his side through to the quarter-finals.
Antoine Griezmann is not on the radar now, but he is the Frenchman’s elite number ten in a 4-3-1-2 formation. The Atletico striker balances out Giroud-Mbappé’s attacking potential in pressing and defence.
The entire national team can be included – Antoine’s role is clear, Tchouameni provides massive coverage and, together with Rabiot, directs the French attacks. Hernandez and Kounde are elite professionals and are good at creating. And then there’s Lloris, the new record holder for the number of games played for the national team.