Qatar 2022 World Cup Team Profiles – Group C

Qatar 2022 World Cup Teams – Group C

Argentina 

  • Coach: Lionel Scaloni
  • Captain: Lionel Messi
  • Most Capped Player: Lionel Messi (164)
  • Top Scorer: Lionel Messi (90)
  • World Cup Appearances: 18 (first in 1930)
  • FIFA Ranking: 3rd
  • Best run: Champions in 1978 and 1986
  • Group C rivals: Saudi Arabia, Poland, and Mexico

Key Players: Emiliano Martinez, Lisandro Martinez, Rodrigo De Paul, Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez and Lionel Messi

Status: Lionel Messi will be a man on a mission at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and his Argentina national team are on board for it.

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The 35-year-old icon is seeking the crowning achievement of his legendary career by winning the most prestigious trophy in the sport which has eluded him in four previous attempts. He has already confirmed that this will be his last World Cup.

Scaloni has tactfully molded this team since taking over in 2018, and his work culminated in the 2021 Copa America triumph on Brazilian soil, clinching Messi his first trophy with the senior national team and finally ridding him of the criticism that constantly followed him on his travels for his country. 

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Now, after throttling Euro champions Italy during the summer, the Argentina bandwagon is only growing, especially after what looks to be a potentially favorable draw and path to the final in Qatar.

Personal Verdict: if Argentina are to win their first World Cup since 1986 then now is the perfect chance, the current crop of players have been getting better each passing day they play together but with 2018 champions France and current world number one Brazil in the competition, I feel this year’s showpiece might still elude them

2. Poland 

  • Coach: Czeslaw Michiniewicz
  • Captain: Robert Lewandowski
  • Most Capped Player: Robert Lewandowski (134)
  • Top Scorer: Robert Lewandowski (76)
  • World Cup Appearances: 9 (first in 1938)
  • FIFA Ranking: 26th
  • Best run: Third place in 1974 and 1982
  • Group C rivals: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico

Key Players: Robert Lewandowski, Zielinski, Kamil Gilik, Szczesny, Krychowiak and Matty Cash

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Status: Poland’s impressive run to World Cup qualification proposed dark-horse status in Qatar, but manager Paulo Sousa’s sudden departure in December has left much to prove.

Sousa led Robert Lewandowski and his colleagues to the runners-up spot in Group I behind England, before quitting his post to join Brazilian side Flamengo.

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Czeslaw Michniewicz is the new man aiming to play Poland’s first World Cup knockout match since 1986. In his second match, the former Legia Warsaw boss masterminded a 2-0 victory over Sweden in the European playoff final to seal qualification.

With a squad that blends experienced stars with career journeymen and unproven young talents, Michniewicz’s key task will be unlocking Lewandowski in what could be the captain’s final World Cup.

Personal Verdict: In recent times, the Polish national team have been disappointing in international tournaments. Finishing bottom of their group in Russia. They should challenge Mexico for 2nd spot behind Argentina but I don’t see them achieving that

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3. Mexico

  • Coach: Gerardo Martino
  • Captain: Andres Guardado
  • Most Capped Player: Andres Guardado and Claudio Suarez (177)
  • Top Scorer: Javier Hernandez (52)
  • World Cup Appearances: 17 (first in 1930)
  • FIFA Ranking: 13th
  • Best run: Quarterfinals in 1970 and 1986
  • Group C rivals: Argentina, Poland, and Saudi Arabia

Key Players: Ochoa, Edson Alvarez, Hector Moreno, Andres Guardado, Hirving Lozano, Diego Lainz and Raul Jiminez

Status: The intrigue with El Tri will come in the form of injuries, especially among the forwards. Scoring issues have plagued Mexico over the last year, with the best Mexican attackers most especially Raul Jiminez struggling for fitness and form in recent months.

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It is also unclear whether some of them will be able to recover in time for the big event. They still have a friendly against Sweden on Wednesday before they play Poland in their opening group game

Personal Verdict: El Tri have been ever-present in the world Cup for some couple of years and have always made the knockout rounds regardless of who they come up against. And I fancy them joining Argentina to represent Group C in the knockout stage.

4. Saudi Arabia

  • Coach: Herve Renard
  • Captain: Salman Al-Faraj
  • Most Capped Player: Mohammed Al-Deayea (178)
  • Top Scorer: Majed Abdullah
  • World Cup Appearances: 6 (first in 1994)
  • FIFA Ranking: 51st
  • Best run: Round of 16 in 1994
  • Group C rivals: Argentina, Poland, and Mexico

Key Players: Salem Al-Dawasari, Saeed Al Mowalad, and Waleed Baksheween

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Status: Saudi Arabia have been handed a tough-looking draw in Group C – where they’re joined by Argentina, Mexico, and Poland. 

Renard’s side booked their spot at the tournament with a minimum of fuss, winning seven of their 10 matches to top their qualification group ahead of Japan and Australia. 

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They held fellow qualifiers Ecuador and the USA to goalless draws in September friendlies, before beating North Macedonia 1-0 last month. They also beat Iceland and were held by Panama in preparations leading to this month’s showpiece.

Personal Verdict: Another World Cup, another appearance for the Saudis. With the caliber of opposition in their group, they would inevitably be Group C’s whipping boys.

 

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