Names to Watch at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup

Names to Watch at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Besides exhibiting the greatest players in the world, the World Cup always features an abundance of intriguing new talent. It’s not just players with hefty price tags, as we’re accustomed to seeing among the ranks of PSG, Manchester City, or Real Madrid. The contest gives a platform to guys like Alireza Beiranvand, the Iranian goalie who denied the mighty Ronaldo back in 2018 with an unbelievable penalty save.

As we’re in the midst of 2022, we’ve got another FIFA World Cup to look forward to. Let’s explore a few individuals that, according to our predictions, have the ability to excel in this year’s tournament.

Almoez Ali – Qatar

Almoez Ali, who is only 25 years old, is one of the most prolific players on the Qatari squad. He was born in Sudan and captains the Qatar Stars League team Al-Duhail, for which he plays as a forward. Ali has already earned 74 senior national team appearances for Qatar, scoring 34 goals in the process. The three-time Qatari Stars League champion finished as the AFC Cup’s top scorer in 2019 with nine goals. In 2021, Qatar was invited to participate as a guest in North America’s main competition, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which Almoez Ali once again dominated by winning the Golden Boot and being drafted among the final Best XI.

Could he be the guy that terrorizes Louis van Gaal’s defense in Qatar?

Joško Gvardiol – Croatia

As a 20-year-old, Joko Gvardiol is poised for an unstoppable rise. A defensive player of his age should be proud of his impressive record of over 100 senior club outings at the heart of the defense.

At the conclusion of his tenure at Dinamo Zagreb, Gvardiol became a regular for Croatia, and since then, he’s gone on to play for RB Leipzig, a superior European team.

Gvardiol’s excellent play in possession and agility have made him a standout in a back three formation, where he is favored as the left-sided center-back. We expect him to play a prominent role for Croatia, who have been tipped for a second-place finish in their group by some of the best World Cup betting sites.

Ritsu Doan – Japan

Ritsu Doan, who initially rose to prominence with Gamba Osaka in his native Japan, pleased FC Groningen enough on a season-long loan that the club exercised its 1.70m option to retain him on a permanent three-year deal in 2019. In 2020, Dutch giants PSV came knocking and took the Japanese star to Eindhoven for 7.50m – almost 6m more than what FC Groningen had paid just a year prior.

Qatar 2022 should be a fantastic stage for Ritsu to show his capabilities. Another thing favoring the 20-year-old striker is that Yuto Nagatomo, Eiji Kawashima, and Junya Ito are all reaching the conclusion of their international careers, making him one of the leading names in Japan’s next era of footballers.

Guillermo Ochoa – Mexico

Such a piece wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Guillermo Ochoa, dubbed by The Guardian as “the World Cup’s new internet darling” back in 2014. The Guadalajara-born goalkeeper, now aged 36, expects this to be his last stint at a World Cup stage, mainly due to the rise of another Mexican Ochoa who seems to be on his way to kick start his career in Europe.

Guillermo Ochoa, the veteran goalkeeper, is currently the captain of Club América in his native Mexico. He has made over 652 professional appearances, proudly representing clubs such as AC Ajaccio, Standard Liège, and Málaga CF, among others. When it comes to the national team, Ochoa played 129 times for Mexico, winning no less than four CONCACAF Gold Cup titles along the way.

Ochoa just had an outstanding season with Club América, appearing 37 times and recording 17 clean sheets. Being on such a positive form, we anticipate the Mexican goalkeeper to repeat the heroics he displayed against Brazil in 2014 for one final time in Qatar.