Who can be the winner of the FIFA World Cup 2022?

The Pre-tournament Favourites

We all know the FIFA World Cup is one of the most unpredictable sports events across the globe. But there are a few countries that frequently arrive as pre-tournament favourites. You bet there are! Right before World Cup is set to kick-off, pundits and journalists like myself are always ready to jump into the prediction business. My amazing wife, Jessica, always laughs when I spend hours agonizing over which team will raise the trophy. But hey, it's more than a hobby—it's almost a tradition! Anyone remember France in 1998? They hosted and won the tournament, defeating Brazil in the final. That was fun times, and I would have loved to be in the Stade de France, cheering Les Bleus on!

Teams that Surprised Us

Now, let's dive into another lively part of the World Cup - the surprise packages. Who can forget the impressive run of Costa Rica in 2014? They beat Uruguay and Italy, then drew with England to top their group. The minnows had everyone, including Jessica and me, at the edge of our seats! You'd think we had Costa Rican blood! This is the unpredictable charm of the competition, seeing an underdog have its day! My advice: never dismiss a team at the World Cup, because football is as unpredictable as my wife’s mood swings (ha, what can you do, marry life, right?)!

The Dark Horses

Beyond the pre-tournament favourites and the shocking surprises, we always have these intriguing characters in-between—we call them the dark horses. These are teams that aren't necessarily expected to win but possess the potential to cause upsets. I remember back in 2002, Turkey and Senegal were such teams, both reaching the quarterfinals, with Turkey even managing to secure third place! Jessica bet me twenty bucks that Turkey wouldn't even make it out of their group. Needless to say, I haven't let her forget her shambolic prediction ever since! Just another delightful football memory that spices up conversations at Silverton’s dinner table.

Individual Performances that Stole the Show

The World Cup has always been a perfect backdrop for footballers to carve their names into the annals of history. Referring back to 2002 again (Yes, that’s a year I can’t just get enough of), Brazil's Ronaldo won the golden boot with eight goals, helping his team clinch their record fifth title! That was a summer of brilliant football. I can still picture Ronaldo’s unique haircut, as Jessica refused to talk to me until I promised never to get a similar one. A festival of football, defining moments, unforgettable characters, individual brilliance – it’s like watching a season of your favourite show, but with an additional dollop of passion, drama, joy and heartbreaks.

The Key Factors That Determine the Winner

Every World Cup reveals some common denominators in the teams that succeed. From my years of watching, analyzing, and arguing about World Cup games, I've identified a few. First, the blend of youth and experience in a squad is crucial. A perfect blend is like adding cheese to a pizza – not too much, not too little! Second, a team's tactical flexibility has always been a game-changer. And lastly, a slice of luck! I always tell Jessica that luck in the World Cup is like that mysterious secret ingredient in her spaghetti sauce that makes it so darn delicious.

So, Who Can be the Winner?

Finally, let's address the elephant in the room. Who will it be this time? Historically, Brazil, Germany, and Italy have been glorious. But who can discount France, the defending champions, or the star-studded squad of Belgium? Or will it be Argentina, with the magic of Messi? That's the real zinger, isn't it? Yet, at the end of the day, it really can be any team that finds the right balance, hits their peak at the appropriate time, and make fortune their friend. As I always say to Jessica: in the World Cup, passion, preparation, and a dash of unpredictability win the race.

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