WORLD CUP – This Tuesday, the table of quarterfinals was completed by the qualifications of Morocco and Portugal, which will face each other for a place in the last four (Saturday, 4 pm). The Atlas Lions are an anomaly among the list of qualifiers, which includes only expected nations and big names with legitimate ambitions.
The last 8 are known but there is an unexpected guest: this Tuesday, Morocco is a UFO among the qualifiers for the quarterfinals. The Atlas Lions, heroic against Spain, are novices at this level of the competition, unlike the teams that accompany it.
It’s quite simple, apart from La Roja, all the big names are in the quarter-finals, further proof that the surprises of the group phase were only imperfect indicators of the balance of power. The new order will wait.
In this world Top 8, only regulars and a lot of former winners (4/8). As it stands, here is the pedigree of the qualifiers:
Netherlands: Finalist in 1974, 1978, 2010
Argentina: Winner in 1978 and 1986
France: Winner in 1998 and 2018
England: Winner in 1966
Croatia: Finalist in 2018
Brazil: Winner in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
Morocco: Quarter-finalist in 2022
Portugal: Semi-finalist in 1966 and 2006
In this panorama, Europe is obviously the best with five out of eight qualifiers, while Brazil and Argentina still represent the South American continent while, for the first time since 2010, an African team is invited to the party.
4 quarters, 4 stars
It’s hard to do more selling than these four quarters. For various reasons, four men were particularly expected in Qatar. They are in the quarterfinals: Lionel Messi has, as expected, carried Argentina on his shoulders, Kylian Mbappé is the top scorer of this World Cup, Neymar has returned in time to allow the rise of Brazil while Cristiano Ronaldo, despite a much more delicate personal situation, is still in the running to lift the most beautiful trophy of his career.
* Croatia – Brazil: Friday, December 9, 4pm
* Netherlands – Argentina: Friday, December 9, 8pm
* Morocco – Portugal: Saturday, December 10, 4pm
* England – France: Saturday, December 10, 8pm