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Why did Sunil Chhetri retire at the peak of his career at 39? Can we officially consider Sunil Chhetri as the best footballer to play for India? Could Indian football have achieved more under his captaincy if he continued playing? 

These questions echo in the hearts of millions of football fans across India as they come to terms with the retirement of their beloved captain. Sunil Chhetri’s decision to hang up his boots has stirred emotions, from admiration for his illustrious career to curiosity about his next steps.

As you know on Thursday, 16 May, Sunil Chhetri, the face of Indian football, announced his retirement after a remarkable career spanning over 19 years. The Indian skipper revealed that his final international appearance for India will be during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match against Kuwait on 6 June in Kolkata.

Over the last six months, Chhetri was in remarkable form. His agility, speed, and ability to beat defenders were as sharp as ever. He was scoring goals, making assists, and leading his team with the same passion that has always defined his career. His fitness, disciplined lifestyle, and unwavering dedication to the sport allowed him to maintain a high level of performance. It was evident that physically, he was more than capable of continuing for a few more years. 

Here are the Sunil Chhetri’s goals and assists in his past few matches:

DateCompetitionGoals Assists
28 March 2024Domestic League11
05 April 2024Domestic League20
10 April 2024International Friendly01
18 April 2024Domestic League12
25 April 2024Domestic Cup10
01 May 2024Domestic League21

Then Why did he decide to retire?

In his announcement, Chhetri clarified that his retirement was not due to physical constraints but rather a mental decision. “The retirement decision was not because of the physical aspect, I am still fit, running, chasing, defending; the hard work is not difficult. The reason is to do with the mental aspect,” he stated.

This statement shows that for athletes, especially those at the top of their game, the mental demands can be as taxing, if not more so, than the physical ones. The pressure to consistently perform, the expectations of fans, the constant travel, and the need to stay at the peak of one’s abilities can take a significant toll on an athlete’s mental health.

By choosing to retire while still at the top of his game, he has ensured that he steps away on his terms, preserving not only his physical health but also his mental well-being.

He said “The recollection of the last 19 years is a combination of duty, pressure, and immense joy. I never thought that these were the many games I would play for the country, good or bad but now I did but these last one and half two months I did. And this (the feeling) was very strange. I was probably going towards the decision that this game (against Kuwait) is going to be my last” 

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Early Life And Family:

Born on August 3, 1984, in Secunderabad, into a Kshatriya family, Sunil Chhetri’s father, K.B. Chhetri, was an officer in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers of the Indian Army and played football for the Indian Army football team. His mother, Sushila Chhetri, and her twin sister played for the Nepal women’s national team. Chhetri spent much of his childhood in Darjeeling, where he attended Bethany School and grew up in Pashupati Fatak. From a young age, he was actively involved in football, participating in various tournaments.

Achievements:

First Indian to become top 10 international goalscorers

Sunil Chhetri’s feats in international football started early. He scored on his debut for the senior national team against Pakistan. Years later, in 2019, he became the first Indian among the top 10 highest international goalscorers.  

SAFF Championships awards

Sunil Chhetri has dominated the SAFF Championships over the years, winning plenty of individual awards. He won the SAFF Championships Player of the Tournament award four times and was the top scorer on three instances.

First Indian to play in three different continents

Sunil Chhetri also holds an impressive record for becoming the first Indian player to ply his trade on three continents. The attacker has played in Asia for several Indian clubs, in North America for Kansas City Wizards, and in Europe for Sporting Lisbon CP.

AIFF Player of the Year awards

Sunil Chhetri holds the record for winning the AIFF Player of the Year most number of times. Over the years, he has been awarded the POTY trophy on seven different occasions. His most recent win was in 2021–22.

Goals for the Indian national team

Sunil Chhetri’s goalscoring feats for the Indian national team are mind blowing, to say the least. He has scored 94 goals in 150 matches for the Blue Tigers, by far the highest ever for an Indian footballer.

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna awardee

Sunil Chhetri’s accomplishments for the national team received the highest recognition when he was awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award in 2021. By receiving the highest sporting honor in India, Chhetri became the first football player to win it.

Conclusion:

We deeply admire Sunil Chhetri’s choice to retire from his career. His preferences to his understanding and self-awareness, recognizing the importance of mental well-being in a worrying profession. Chhetri has performed with unwavering enthusiasm and passion, representing India on the football field with great dedication and skill. His contributions to Indian football were memorable, inspiring countless fans and aspiring athletes.

While we will miss seeing him score and assist on the field, we are happy for him as he embarks on this new journey. Chhetri’s legacy will be preserved to inspire new generations, and his decision to prioritize his mental fitness sets a powerful example for all athletes. We celebrate his decision to retire and stay up to see how he will continue to impact the sports in a new and meaningful way.

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Sports events aren’t just about competing. They’re also about learning valuable lessons that apply to your business. Whether you’re attending a competitive tournament or playing a friendly match with your colleagues, sports events provide a unique opportunity to analyze and understand teamwork, resilience and performance dynamics.

So, grab your jersey and prepare for a wild ride filled with laughs, victories, and maybe a few embarrassing wipeouts as we explore the data behind the magic of corporate sports tournaments. 

Because when it comes to corporate sports tournaments, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected – and that’s what makes them truly unforgettable.  

 Here are some of the key lessons you can learn from sports events that you can apply to your business🏅🎉

Lesson 1: Team Building Touchdowns

According to a survey by Harvard Business Review, 91% of employees believe that team sports improve workplace culture.

It’s not only about scoring goals; it’s about scoring points as a team. Corporate sports competitions allow coworkers to bond outside of the office, building camaraderie and trust. 

And don’t forget the valuable team-building moments, such as the CFO attempting a layup or the IT man scoring the winning goal – talk about breaking down departmental walls!

Team Building Touchdowns

Lesson 2: The ROI of Fun

Research from Gallup shows that engaged employees are 21% more productive when doing sports tournaments.

Corporate sports tournaments are not just an unnecessary expense; they represent a deliberate investment in employee engagement. These events improve morale and motivation, resulting in a more productive team.

So, the next time your CFO queries the budget for the annual dodgeball tournament, show them the ROI of fun; it’s a slam dunk!

The ROI of Fun

Lesson 3: Embracing Diversity on the Field

A study by McKinsey found that companies with diverse leadership teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers.

Corporate sports tournaments are a microcosm of diversity in action. Regardless of job title or past events, everyone has an opportunity to succeed on the field. By honouring diversity and inclusion, these events encourage a sense of belonging and acceptance, paving the way for workplace innovation and success.

 Plus, where else can you see the head of marketing collaborating with the intern to secure the victory?

Embracing Diversity on the Field

Lesson 4: Resilience in the Face of Defeat

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, resilience is linked to greater workplace satisfaction and lower stress levels.

In the high-stakes world of corporate sports contests, failure is unavoidable. But it’s how we recover that matters. Whether it’s laughing off a missed shot or banding together after a terrible defeat, these experiences teach us the importance of resilience and perseverance.  

After all, if you can survive an office tug-of-war, you can endure anything the workweek has in store for you!

Resilience in the Face of Defeat

Lesson 5: Celebrating Wins, Big and Small

Research from the University of Warwick found that happy employees are 12% more productive.

Corporate sports tournaments are more than just a chance to show off your athletic abilities; they’re also an occasion to celebrate big and small victories. Whether it’s hoisting the championship trophy or simply having a post-game pizza with your teammates, these moments of joy and camaraderie foster a strong work culture and drive performance. So, go ahead to bring out the confetti; every victory deserves an occasion to celebrate!

Celebrating Wins, Big and Small

Conclusion:

So, there you have it, folks – the not-so-secret recipe for organising a killer corporate sports tournament. From team building to boosting morale, these events are more than just a fun day out of the office; they’re a chance to create lasting memories and strengthen bonds that’ll carry your team through even the toughest of challenges.

We explore the hidden gems of team dynamics, engagement metrics, and organisational success.

 Keep playing, keep learning, and keep scoring those valuable lessons! 🎉🏆

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As we usher in the year 2024, sports enthusiasts around the globe are gearing up for a thrilling lineup of events that promise to redefine the landscape of athleticism and competition. From the grand stage of the Olympic Games to the intense rivalries of annual championships, 2024 is poised to be a year filled with record-breaking performances, underdog triumphs, and unforgettable moments. In this blog, we embark on a journey through the most anticipated sports events of the year that will captivate audiences and leave an indelible mark on the world of sports. 

AFC Asian Cup, Qatar 2024

Scheduled from January 12 to February 10, following the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar is poised to be the stage for another significant international football event – the AFC Asian Cup 2024. This quadrennial intercontinental tournament will witness a clash of titans as some of the most prominent names in Asian football compete for glory.

Additionally, it might mark a poignant moment for Indian football icon Sunil Chhetri, currently the third-highest goal scorer among active players in international football, as he contemplates bidding farewell to the sport, particularly in the colors of his national team.

World Aquatics Championship, Doha 2024 

The 2024 World Aquatics Championships, marking its 21st edition, is scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar, from February 2 to 18, 2024, after being initially planned for November 2023. Doha, having successfully hosted multiple World Aquatics events in recent years, will now be the venue for the World Aquatics Championships, the flagship event in aquatic sports, for the first time.

The tournament will feature 75 medal events across six aquatic disciplines: swimming, artistic swimming, open-water swimming, diving, high diving, and water polo. Spread across three venues in Doha, the World Aquatics Championships – Doha 2024 promises to showcase the pinnacle of aquatic competition. Simultaneously, the World Aquatics Masters Championships – Doha 2024 will provide a perfect stage for the world’s top aquatics athletes, attracting participants from across the globe.

World Indoor Athletic Championship,  Glasgow 2024

The 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships Is Set To Be The 19th Edition Of The Prestigious International Indoor Track And Field Competition, Overseen By World Athletics. Taking Place From March 1 To 3,

The Event Will Unfold At The Commonwealth Arena In Glasgow, United Kingdom. This championship assumes particular significance as it occurs merely five months before the commencement of the 2024 Paris Olympics. Beyond the excitement of the competition itself, the event holds a crucial role in the qualification process for athletes aspiring to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games, adding an extra layer of intensity and anticipation to the proceedings.

Indian Premier League, India 2024

The IPL, India’s premier cricket tournament, is set for its 2024 edition from March 23 to May 29. Organized by the BCCI, this season will unveil a thrilling schedule soon. With two new teams added, making it a total of 10, competition intensifies. TATA takes the sponsorship reins for IPL 2024, adding to the grandeur of the 17th season.

Cricket enthusiasts anticipate an action-packed tournament with seasoned and new teams competing for glory in this widely acclaimed sporting spectacle. Get ready for a riveting cricketing carnival, as the IPL 2024 promises to deliver unforgettable moments and unparalleled excitement.

NBA Finals, USA 2024 

The pinnacle of NBA competition, the NBA Finals, is the ultimate showdown for the revered Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Mark your calendars for the 2024 NBA Finals, set to commence on Thursday, June 6. Following a best-of-seven playoff format, the team that secures four victories will clinch the coveted NBA championship.

Over three weeks in June 2024, basketball enthusiasts nationwide will eagerly tune in to witness the thrilling games that will ultimately determine the triumph of one team and the hoisting of the Larry O’Brien Trophy in celebration of their NBA championship victory. The stage is set for an unforgettable display of basketball prowess

Paralympics, Paris 2024 

The Paralympic Games, now counted among the largest sporting events globally, are poised to captivate audiences over 12 extraordinary days from August 28 to September 8, 2024. Organized in Paris for the 2024 edition, this monumental event will unite 4,400 of the world’s most exceptional Paralympic athletes.

As a testament to the indomitable spirit of human resilience and athletic prowess, Paris 2024 promises to be a showcase of unparalleled skill and determination. Get ready to witness history unfold as these extraordinary athletes converge in the City of Light for a celebration of inclusivity, triumph, and the boundless potential of the human spirit.

ICC Women T20 World Cup, Bangladesh 2024

The eagerly awaited 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup is slated to be the ninth installment of the prestigious tournament. Set to unfold in Bangladesh, this global cricket spectacle will grace the cricketing calendar from September to October 2024. As teams prepare for intense competition, fans worldwide anticipate witnessing the skill, passion, and camaraderie that characterize this pinnacle event in women’s T20 cricket.

With Bangladesh as the host, the tournament promises to deliver riveting matches and unforgettable moments, showcasing the talent and determination of women cricketers on the world stage. Mark your calendars for a cricketing extravaganza set to unfold in the fall of 2024.

Olympics, Paris 2024 

The 2024 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad or Paris 2024, is an eagerly anticipated international multi-sport event. Scheduled to unfold from July 26 to August 11, 2024, this spectacular event will be hosted in France, with Paris as the primary host city. The Olympic spirit will radiate across 16 additional cities spread throughout metropolitan France.

As athletes from around the world converge to showcase their talents, the Games promise to be a celebration of unity, sportsmanship, and the pursuit of excellence. Get ready to witness the magic of Paris 2024 as the world comes together in the spirit of athletic competition.

2022 world Cup

It is finally that time of the year when half the world comes to a standstill to watch 22 men play on the football pitch. Argentina plays against France on the grandest stage of them all, with both sides looking to make history. It is a battle of Europe vs South America and a battle of Messi vs Mbappe that will decide the World Champions for the next four years,

In this post, you’ll Read about
Argentina
France
Key Battles to look out for
Conclusion

Argentina

The first team to qualify for the final, after smashing Croatia in the semi-final. The Argentine’s will look for revenge over France in this grudge match after the French eliminated them the last time around. It was captain Lionel Messi at the helm again, scoring and assisting in the side’s 3-0 win. He took apart Gvardiol, who had been the defender of the tournament, and made the stage his own. After all the knockout games, the world started to notice that Julian Alvarez had been silently contributing to his team’s success. The 22-year-old kept Lautaro Martinez out of the starting 11 and made the striker position his own. From losing to Saudi Arabia to reaching the World Cup final, the phoenix that is Argentina has truly risen from the ashes. It truly is a sign that Messi could complete football by winning the final. Whether you support Argentina or France, this final means so much more, as Messi has announced that it will be his last World Cup game. The world awaits, as the seconds tick by, to see the GOAT try and achieve what has always eluded him. Will a South American team finally reign supreme? We will know soon enough. 

GOAT MESSI

France

The French are looking to make history by becoming the 2nd team to retain a 2022 World Cup title. This truly is a golden generation for France, with so many youngsters playing important roles in the team’s success. The team beat Morocco in a nervy 2-0 win as the genius that is Deschamps brought on 24-year-old Muani who scored with his first touch of the game. The genius idea was not bringing him on but making Mbappe to play in a central role almost as a striker, allowing the fresh legs to make a run and kill the game. While all the attention is on Mbappe, Griezzman has been putting effort into attack, midfield, and defense. He has 3 assists and 7 big chances created. He won 6 out of 10 ground duels against Morocco and made 2 interceptions. The French side showcased their depth, with Konate stepping up for Upamecano and having a great game. Varane and Hernandez have been superb in defense, while Giroud does what he’s been doing for so long in front of goal. France has the opportunity to do what many haven’t even dreamed of, and it could finally be the one to retain the title and stamp its success.

2022 World cup

Key Battles to look out for.

Tchoumeni vs Messi: The youngster will do everything to stop Messi from creating chances and will have to step up his game if he wants to keep this legend out of the game. Messi will look to beat the press and find space for attackers in front of him.

Mbappe vs Molina: Molina will have a tough time dealing with the pace of Mbappe and will have to do everything to make sure the 23-year-old gets nowhere near the goal. This will restrict Molina from venturing forward and force him to play a much more defensive role.

Deschamps vs Scaloni: This will be the biggest battle of them all, as the managers are the ones responsible for getting their teams to this stage of the tournament. Will the experience of Deschamps be too much for Scaloni or will Scalonia’s adaptability and tactics outclass Deschamps? The tactics and team sheets from the game will decide the fate of the two nations as they step onto the battlefield in the 2022 World Cup.

messi vs mbappe

Conclusion

After a month and a half of predictions, we have nothing for this game. Both teams deserve to win, and whoever loses should go home with their heads held high for what they have achieved. It is a battle of the old generation vs. the new that the whole world wants to see as the perfect swan song to this 2022 World Cup.

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Argentina takes on Croatia in the first semi final of the FIFA World Cup 2022. No one would’ve ever imagined these two teams would meet at this stage of the tournament, but that’s how unpredictable sports are.

In this post, you’ll Read about
Argentina
Croatia
Key Battles

Argentina 

Argentina will be out for revenge after losing to Croatia in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup. This was Leo Messi’s last realistic shot at making a World Cup final and winning it, and Croatia beating Brazil must’ve felt like a weight being lifted off the Argentine shoulders. Messi scored and assisted in one of the best World Cup quarterfinal games of all time, once again proving how important he is to the side’s attack. Emi Martinez has redeemed himself by making 2 saves in the shootout against the Dutch, sending the Europeans packing. The quarterfinals must’ve been an eye-opener for Argentina, as there were a total of 17 yellow cards shown during the game, just showing how brutal, physical, and intense the game was. Scaloni’s switch to a 3-at-back system to take on the Dutch, man for man, proved to be a master plan as the Dutch fullbacks were taken out of the game in an attacking sense. A worrying sign for Argentina has to be their tendency to concede goals late in the game after leading and dominating most parts of the game. There really should have been no scope for allowing this match to go to penalties, as the game should’ve been done and dusted by the 90th minute. This complacency can cost the South Americans their World Cup.

Leo Messi

Croatia

Croatia beating Brazil has to be the upset of the tournament, as most of the world believed that this was Brazil’s year to finally win a World Cup. Out of all the teams that could’ve knocked Brazil out in the knockouts, Croatia were the last team anyone would have suspected to do so. The Balkan team held their own through the ninety as their warriors in midfield and defense kept out the relentless Brazilian attack. Gvardiol, Modric, Kovacic and Brozovic all put in monster shifts as the team seemed impenetrable. Even after penetrating the defense, the Brazilians just could not find the net against Livakovic, who put in the performance of his life, making 11 saves, the most for a Croatian keeper in a game of football. He went on to be the hero of the penalty shootout as well, saving the first penalty taken by Rodrygo and shifting the momentum in favor of the Croatians. They went on to win their 4th consecutive penalty shootout at the World Cup and seal the semi final berth for themselves. Petokovic must be credited for equalizing in the dying minutes of extra time when everyone thought the Europeans were down and out.

Key Battles

Leo Messi vs Gvardiol- Argentina’s most important source for goals against Croatia’s most important defender will be crucial to the game. The Crotians will allow Messi to come at them, and it’s up to young Gvardiol to stop a man who has never been stopped before.

Rodrigo De Paul vs Luka Modric: The Croatian midfield is a very important aspect of the team’s style of play, With the midfielders converting play and dictating the tempo of the game, stopping Luka Modric from controlling the ball and creating chances will be a task that De Paul will have to undertake to avoid any defensive damage.

Emi Martinez vs Livakovic: Though the two will not directly battle each other, the battle of the better keeper could decide who wins the game. With both teams qualifying via penalty shootouts in which both keepers performed, it could well go down the same route again, requiring the two of them to step up for their nation.

Leo Messi vs Gvardio

Conclusion

This game will be interesting as Argentina will be allowed to barrage the Croatian half of the pitch while the Croatian defense will look to hold strong. With Argentina not having scored more than 2 goals in a game and the Croatians not conceding more than one goal in a game, a single goal will differentiate the two sides in this clash. Croatia will look to play to their strengths and take the game as deep as possible, while Argentina will try to put the game to bed in the first 90.  We predict that the 2014 finalists will beat the 2018 finalists for the win in this amazing fixture.  

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The headlines of the World Cup so far is been England vs France. Although it is the headliner, the media buzz has been quiet, with both sets of journalists likely to react after the game is played. The two countries are fierce rivals and will give it their all to book the final semi-final spot in the World Cup.

In this post, you’ll Read about
England
France
Key battles to look out for

England

England have had an extremely strong start to the tournament, conceding only twice in 4 games. Their 2 goals conceded came in their 6-2 win against Iran. The team has scored 12 goals in 4 games showing great attacking promise. Harry Kane, Saka, Rashford and Foden have all been pieces that have solved the attacking puzzle. In defense, Harry Maguire has really stepped up his game alongside the likes of Shaw, Stones, and Walker. The English midfield has been the most impressive aspect of the side, with Jude Bellingham having been their player of the tournament so far with 93% passing accuracy and 2.8 tackles per game. Declan Rice has contributed to the effort with a passing accuracy of 94%. With these two players, the ball turnovers are very quick, and they catch the opposition defense on the break with accurate passing and pace. This was very clearly seen against Senegal. The team will be high on confidence after their 3-0 win against Senegal in the round of 16 and will be all set to take on their neighbors from across the English Channel.

England vs France 

France

Everyone thought the World Cup curse would affect France, but they have been nowhere close to being knocked out of the tournament. France have scored 9 goals in 4 games, of which Kylian Mbappe has contributed to 7 goals with 5 goals and 2 assists. He has been the stand-out performer across all teams and is in contention to win the Golden Ball award. Olivier Giroud has been superb in terms of supporting Mbappe’s runs and chance creation, with his excellent hold up play and finishing. The most underrated out of the French front three has been Griezzman who has created 5 big chances for the team but only 1 has amounted to an assist. His progressive passing and chance creation has been very vital for the French attack. The French defense is a cause of concern as the team has failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their games. This will have to be looked at if they desire to keep the English attack away from the sight of goal.

England vs France 

Key battles to look out for

Walker vs Mbappe will be the battle that will set up and decide the game. Whether England chooses to start with 4 at the back or 3, Walker will be marking and tracking Mbappe down the whole game, let’s see who wins this battle of pace and strength.

Tchouameni vs Bellingham will be a midfield battle between two young stars that will be for the ages. Both quick, efficient and accurate and there will be only one boss in the middle of the pitch.

Saka vs Hernandez will be an interesting battle as Saka has been in great goal scoring form and Hernandez likes to play high up the pitch, will he be able to track back and hold off Saka on the cut? Or will Saka play deeper to counter the hammering attack that comes along the French left side? The fourth quarter final will decide this battle!

England vs France 

Conclusion

This England vs France game should be one of the best in world cup history with two of the best sides at the tournament locking horns. It will have everything from great attacking, defending, saves and fights. We predict this game to go down to the wire and eventually to a penalty shootout.

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The intercontinental neighbors take each other on in a spicy clash in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. No one would’ve thought Morocco would’ve reached this stage of the tournament, let alone play against Portugal, a team synonymous with them, right down to the colors of their jerseys. Portugal vs Morocco face-off

In this post, you’ll Read about
Portugal
Morocco
Key battles to look out for 

Portugal vs Morocco

Portugal

Portugal have won 3 out of their 4 games in the buildup to this fixture, with youngsters taking charge all over the pitch. Bruno Fernandes has been their most important player, with 2 goals and three assists for the squad. The biggest revelation has to be Goncalo Ramos who replaced Ronaldo in the round of 16 against Switzerland, and went on to score a hattrick, filling in the biggest boots that he could have ever filled. The team absolutely smoked the Swiss, scoring 6 with Pepe, Gurreiro and Leao getting in on the act. The team has had no shortage of goals, scoring 13 goals in just 4 games. Diogo Dalot has come as the biggest surprise for the squad by outperforming and benching Joao Cancelo. The squad could do better defensively, having kept only 1 clean sheet in 4 games. Portugal have gone under the radar for being one of the best performing teams at the World Cup, and the 6-1 victory was a call to everyone to ignore the side. Their scoring prowess will be important against the best defensive team of the tournament in Morocco.

Portugal vs Morocco

Morocco

The biggest shock entry into the quarter finals has to be the North West African side Morocco, who managed to defeat Spain, a team that scored 7 goals in one match against Costa Rica. What was even more impressive was that they did not allow Spain to find the back of the net in regular time as well as in penalties. Morocco have been so solid in defense that they haven’t let an opposition player score against them, they have only conceded an own goal by Aguerd. What makes Morocco’s defense stand out is that they kept Croatia and Belgium at bay and went on to concede 1 shot against Spain, who came into the match with an xG of over 2.5. Amrabat’s control in midfield, holding off the midfielders of the Spanish squad, had to be the most impressive performance in midfield. Ounahi won 7 out of 10 duels against his opponents, whereas the entire backline solidified the defense. Keeper Bono had to be the player of the game, keeping all 3 Spanish penalties out, ensuring the squad reached their first-ever quarter-final of the tournament. Hakim Ziyech has been crucial on the attacking front and will cause problems for the Portuguese defense. They are the only African nation left in the World Cup and will carry the hopes of the entire continent on their shoulders, as seen by individual African teams in past World Cups. Will the 4-3-3 of Morocco be enough to ensure a first-ever semi-final spot for an African nation? Or will Aguerd’s injury cause problems for the Atlas Lions? Only one team stands in the way of the answer.

Portugal vs Morocco

Key battles to look out for 

Ziyech vs Raphael Gurreiro will be one to look out for, as an in-form Ziyech taking on a high flying Gurreiro who spends so much time in the opposition box will be a great battle. Amrabat vs Bruno Fernandes will be a battle in midfield that could decide the game, if Amrabat manages to pacify the main supply of the Portuguese attack, we could be in for dry attacking spells from the Europeans. Felix vs Hakimi will be the most interesting one in a battle of pace vs strength as both experienced players who play for top clubs in Europe go head on along the Portuguese right. Hakimi can prove to be a tough cookie and will threaten in attack as well in Portugal vs Morocco.

Portugal vs Morocco

Conclusion

We predict this exciting Portugal vs Morocco clash to go down to the wire, with Portugal winning 2-1. Morocco won’t go down without a fight, and Portugal will know that. The attacking threat that Portugal possess on the pitch and on the bench may prove to be too much for the Moroccans.

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Introduction

The Netherlands take on Argentina in one of the biggest quarterfinal games of the 2022 World Cup. The Oranje will look for revenge over the South Americans after bowing out to them on penalties during the 2014 World Cup semi finals now again it’s Netherland vs Argentina. 

In this post, you’ll Read about
The Netherlands
Argentina
Key Battles to look out for

The Netherlands

The Dutch have had smooth sailing so far, remaining unbeaten in all their games. They took apart the USA in the round of 16, beating them 3-1 with Memphis Depay, Denzel Dumfries and Daley Blind all getting in on the act. Blind also assisted once, whereas Dumfries assisted the two other goals. The Dutch fullbacks took apart the USA, putting in cross after cross from the wings, most of which were fruitful in terms of goals. Apart from the fullbacks, they have Cody Gakpo, who is in sublime form, having scored in all the group-stage games. In midfield, Frenkie De Jong has a goal and assist, along with a passing accuracy of 89% in 4 starts. The Dutch defense has been pretty average in the sense that they have conceded in 2 out of their 4 games, making their attack look far better than their defense. The new goalkeeper, Noppert, has truly risen to the occasion, making a total of 15 saves, which is astounding for someone who was going to retire from the sport to join the police force just a few years prior to making his World Cup debut. This has helped solve the constant goalkeeper dilemma that the Dutch have had for the past decade. 

Netherland vs Argentina

Argentina

Argentina were one of the teams that were poised to take the World Cup by storm but haven’t really looked convincing even after topping the group and reaching the semi-finals. There could be various reasons for this, such as the team having set such a high standard for themselves, their unbeaten run, or even just knowing Messi plays for them is enough to make fear run through the veins of opponents and opposition fans. The team kicked off the tournament with a loss to Saudi Arabia, which was probably the most shocking result in the history of any World Cup. The Argentines bounced back by taking apart Mexico and Poland, beating both teams 2-0. These two clean sheets were definitely a boost to the Argentine defense and a relief for Emi Martinez, who has made only 2 saves in the entirety of the tournament. Another positive sign for the Argentine defense has been Montiel and Otamendi providing assists, making sure the attack isn’t only reliant on Messi. Speaking of players who have contributed to the attack aside from Messi, Alexis Mac Allister has helped in creating chances and also scoring once, whereas Julian Alvarez has scored 2 times in 2 starts, including the decider against Australia. Alvarez has sidelined Lautaro Martinez, who has scored 0 goals and missed 3 big chances in the tournament. Messi has been the most important player for Argentina, with 3 goals, 1 assist, and 3 big chances created, showing how important he is to their buildup and final third play.

Netherland vs Argentina

Key Battles to look out for

The biggest battle in this Netherlands vs Argentina match to look out for will be Leo Messi vs Virgil van Dijk, two of the best players in their positions. We have seen this battle before, and both players have come out on top against each other, but Messi just edged it over VVD, but that’s just Messi with anyone. If the Dutch giant can keep Messi out of the game, it will eliminate the majority of the threat that Argentina poses. Molina and Acuna’s efforts to curtail the relentless Dumfries and Blind will be another deciding factor in the game. Otamendi vs Depay is a battle that most aren’t aware of but will be important with the Netherlands relying on crosses in the box to score, making sure the Aerial duels in the box play a large role in the Dutch goal-scoring conquest.

Netherland vs Argentina

Conclusion

All in all, this Netherland vs Argentina, game should be a well-balanced one, with both sides creating chances and defending well. We predict the game will go to penalties again, with both teams looking to play it safe and not commit an attack. The midfield battle for the ball will be intense, with both teams drawing loads of fouls in the buildup.  Be ready for a crackerjack of a contest on the first day of the quarter finals.

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Netherlands, also known as the Oranje, have successfully made it to the 2022 World Cup after shockingly missing out in 2018.The Dutchmen seem to have started flying again after crashing out of the previous European Championship under Frank De Boer. The team has found a new lease of life under Louis Van Gaal and are all set to take on Group A at the World Cup.

In this post, you’ll Read about
A brief history of Netherlands at the World Cup
Manager Profile
Tactical analysis
Strengths
Weaknesses
World Cup path

A brief history of Netherlands at the World Cup

Netherlands have never won a world cup in the past but have always been considered one of the strongest teams in the competition, losing 3 finals in the past. The team can almost be compared to Tottenham Hotspur, owing to having some of the biggest names in football such as Johann Cryuff, Marco Van Basten, Wesley Sneijder, Ruud Gullit and Arjen Robben, yet never amounting to any form of fruition in terms of winning trophies, excluding the 1988 European Championship. Over time, they have come to be known as the bottlers of international football.

Johan Cruyff's all-time XI typically contained a lot of attacking options

Manager Profile

The Dutch are managed by Louis Van Gaal who has been in and out of the team since before the 2014 World Cup. The manager has many accolades to his name in club competitions, the majority coming from the Dutch league. He has turned the squad around in the Nation’s League and the World Cup after they failed to qualify in 2018.

Netherlands manager for World Cup 2022: Everything you need to know about  Louis van Gaal | FourFourTwo

Tactical analysis

The Dutch team hasn’t lost a game in the 2022–2023 Nations League and has lost only 1 out of their 10 world cup qualifiers, making it smooth sailing for them into the world cup. The Netherlands employ a total football approach, which was ironically invented by them in the 1974 World Cup. It enables a free-flowing attack by allowing the forwards to move around freely, improving off-the-ball movement and positioning. Van Gaal uses a 3-5-2 approach to most games, allowing the full backs to move forward to put in crosses for the attack. This 3-5-2 can be switched into a 2-3-5 going forward, with the RCB pushing forward into midfield and the two deep lying centre backs staying behind. This also allows long balls from one of the best ball playing centre backs in the world (Van Dijk) with extra options to play to in front, breaking defensive lines of the oppositions.

Strengths

The strengths of this team could be seen through the goal scoring abilities of multiple players, playing on different positions. Right from one of their most important goal scorers in attack (Depay), who has scored 3 goals in the nations league and was their top scorer in the Euros. Dumfries has proven to be an asset, scoring twice, and assisting once whereas the other wing back, Daley Blind has provided 3 assists as well. Steven Bergwijn is one of the most valuable assets taking 1.45 shots per 90 minutes for the national side. His great form in the Eredivisie with 7 goals and an assist and 2 goals in the UCL will make his form crucial for the team’s success in the world cup. Apart from this, the team has one of the best centre-backs and captains in the world in Virgil Van Dijk, who is their most valuable asset defensively, especially when being hit on the counter. The team plays a very adaptable 5-3-2 formation when they do not have the ball, with the centre-backs dropping back and the two wing-backs playing as full-backs, making them very formidable defensively.  They also have young players to add squad depth and replace players in crucial wingback roles such as Owen Wijndal and Tyrell Malacia.

Weaknesses

One of the most essential aspects of the Dutch attack and defence is the single pivot role played by Frenkie De Jong. His current dip in form could prove to be worrying for the national side as his is key to making successful passes forwards to start attacks and getting out of the press in midfield. Getting caught in the midfield when playing fast high pressing teams could lead to defensive loopholes as the defensive line is high when in possession of the ball. The team also has an issue with their goalkeepers as their shot stopper Tim Krul is said not be unfavoured by LVG for the world cup. The history between the two dates to the 2014 world cup when he won the team a penalty shootout only to not be subbed on for the penalty shootout in the semi-finals against Argentina, which they went on to lose. Sorting out their goalkeeper choice will be one of the most important tasks for the World Cup

 World Cup path

We predict the Dutch team to top their group and advance to the knockouts and get eliminated in the quarter finals by either Argentina or France. They should start off strong against Senegal which will give them the momentum to top their group.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Netherlands beats Senegal Cody Gakpo Memphis  Depay Davy Klassen | TSN

Players to watch out for

Virgil Van Dijk, Louis Van Gaal, Memphis Depay, Denzel Dumfries, Frenkie De Jong, Steven Bergwijn

Young talent to keep an eye on

Ryan Gravenberch, Cody Gakpo and Tyrell Malacia

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As we go into the World Cup, let’s have a look at the Asian teams that will be a part of it. These are the teams that have historically caused upsets but have never really won the World Cup. Do these teams want to always be known as the underdogs who cause upsets, or do they see the World Cup as a real threat? Let’s have a look!

In this post, you’ll Read about
Qatar
Iran
Saudi Arabia
Japan
South Korea

Qatar

Let’s kick things off with the host nation, Qatar. This will be the first time Qatar plays at the world cup as a result of being the host nation. Having never qualified for the WC before, the team will be a total mystery bag to everyone they face. The team played the world cup qualifiers as a form of warm up matches and did not lose a single game.On the contrary they lost an international friendly to Canada and the Croatia under 23 team in 2022. The team will be led by Al-Haydos who is their most capped player as well. They are the reigning Afc asian cup champions, showing promise coming into this massive tournament. They are ranked 50th in the world rankings, the third lowest for any team at the WC. Qatar are in Group A with the likes of Ecuador, Senegal and Netherlands. They kick start their campaign against the easiest side in their group as the first game of the tournament, which will decide which way their momentum will swing. In all likeness the team will finish at the bottom of their group due to their lack of footballing prominence at such a big stage. 

Qatar world cup

Iran

Iran have qualified for the WC for the 6th time and this will be their 3rd world cup in a row, making them tournament regulars at this point. Iran has been one of the dominant teams in Asia, especially in the middle eastern region. The team also has representation of players in the big European leagues such as Ansafarid, Ghoddos, Jahanbaksh and Mohammadi who bolster the squad’s strength. Historically the team has won 3 AFC Asian cups and finished in the semi final places in their last outing. Iran did well in the third round of the WC qualifying only losing to South Korea. The team missed out on qualifying for the knockouts lasttime round by a mere 1 point, even going on to draw to Portugal. Will this year finally be the year they break out of the group stage? As they go on to face England, USA and Wales, this group could be open for their taking. As England was predicted to finish top of the group, Iran could pose a huge threat to USA and Wales and might just make it to the round of 16.

Qatar world cup

Saudi Arabia

 WIth the Saudi takeover of Newcastle and footballing greats playing in the Saudi Arabian league, the nation has come far in the footballing world. This world cup could truly change the shape of football in their nation, with the country predicted to have excellent home support due to their close proximity to Qatar. This will be the nation’s 6th World cup with their best finish being the round of 16 in 1994. The country crashed and burned at the previous world cup with a 5-0 smashing in the opening game against Russia. The team fared decently well in their qualifiers losing only to Asian giants Japan. Al-Dawsri and Al-Sehri are  their biggest attacking assets, netting 7 goals each in 13 games. Saudi Arabia may yet face another tough challenge in the group stage, having to face Argentina, Poland and Mexico. This could mean that Saudi finish the group at the bottom and any positive result will hinder any of the other team’s progress from their group.

Qatar world cup

Japan

The players from the land of the rising sun will look to bring pride on the rest of their continent after they were knocked out cruelly in the round of 16, the last time around in the dying minutes of extra time. The team are 4 time asian cup champions and current runners up, going into the world cup in great form, not losing any of their qualifying games. This will be the nation’s 7th world cup in a row, marking the team’s dominance in the Asian circuit. Japan carry experience with players like Maya Yoshida, Nagatomo and Kawashima who have been with the squad for over a decade. The team will also see breakout players from European league’s such as Tomiyasu, Mitoma, Minamino and Haraguchi will really be the ones who can blow it up at the World Cup. Asako and Ito are one’s to watch as well, each netting 10 goals in the qualifiers. To Japan’s bad luck, the team is in the group of death, but not as underdogs but as one of the teams that make it to the group of death. Every team is going to find the group challenging with each team being extremely  difficult to face. Japan could finish anywhere from 1-4th in the group, being excellent challengers in their own right. 

world cup Football

South Korea

2 time Asian Cup winners South Korea, are the Asian team to have qualified for most world cups, with this being their record 11th time. The team has been a part of every world cup since 1986 with their best finish being in the semi finals of the 2002 world cup. The team has also qualified for the knockouts twice outside of their great run in 2002 and even went on to knock out champions Germany in the 2018 World Cup. The team is led by their Talisman Son, who is one of the best wingers in the Premier League. His attacking partner Chin-Wook poses a great threat too. Hwang Hee-Chan is the other Korean in the premier league but has been struggling to see game time with Wolves whereas Min-Jae has done well in defence  with league leaders Napoli. Korea lost only one game in the qualifiers to UAE which was a dead rubber. The team looks really strong and will be one of the teams to beat in group H. With the team beating Germany the last time round, they might possibly beat Portugal and Uruguay as well. A lot of the nation’s hopes are dependent on their captain Son but his goal drought for his club this season are worrying signs for the side. He will also be going into the world cup with a face fracture, throwing his participation at the tournament into question. 

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