The hopes and goals of the USA males’s nationwide staff got here to an finish on Saturday, because the USMNT was knocked out of the World Cup with a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.
In case you are a supporter of the USMNT, the top of their run doesn’t imply your rooting pursuits have to attract to a detailed. There’s numerous unimaginable soccer left to be performed, and as such, it may be time to discover a new staff to comply with for the following few weeks.
In case you are having bother arising with a nation to help, we now have you coated. Listed below are some ideas.
The staff that knocked the US out: The Netherlands
For some, there’s honor and glory in seeing a staff that eradicated your nation go on to glory.
If that sounds such as you, then supporting the Netherlands may be the transfer.
What would possibly sweeten the deal? The truth that they’ve by no means gained the World Cup. Regardless of showing in three World Cup Finals — most not too long ago in 2010 — they’ve by no means claimed soccer’s final prize.
The most important underdogs left: Australia
In case you are studying this, you might be probably a USMNT fan, which implies you might be already conversant in rooting for an underdog.
If that sounds such as you, then it’s time to root for the Socceroos.
Australia confronted a tough path to the World Cup, having to work by a playoff simply to make it to Qatar. However having certified for the World Cup, they superior out of group play because of a pair of 1-0 victories of their remaining two matches in Group D.
Their reward? A date with Lionel Messi and Argentina, one of many favorites heading into the World Cup to win all of it. In that match they are going to be maybe the last word underdogs.
But when rooting for an underdog is one thing you like to do, then the Socceroos are your new staff. They enter the spherical of 16 because the lowest-ranked staff left in response to FIFA’s rankings.
There’s one caveat to this, nevertheless. Argentina and Australia sq. off on Saturday, and by the point you might be studying this, Australia might have been eradicated. In case you are nonetheless searching for an underdog, then South Korea is the following choice, given their very own FIFA rating.
A legend chasing the unattainable dream: Lionel Messi and Argentina
Talking of Argentina, if storylines are a driving drive behind your rooting pursuits, then throwing your help behind Lionel Messi’s quest for a World Cup ought to draw your consideration.
Whereas Messi’s legacy within the sporting world is solidified no matter how Argentina fares within the World Cup, the dwelling legend is enjoying in his final World Cup, having but to hoist the trophy. He confirmed that again in October, and talked concerning the “nervousness and nerves” of enjoying in his remaining World Cup.
Whereas Argentina acquired out to a sluggish begin in group play, shedding to Saudi Arabia in beautiful trend, they nonetheless emerged because the winners of their group, because of a pair of 2-0 wins. The primary got here towards Mexico, and the second towards Poland noticed Argentina win Group C.
Argentina has not gained a World Cup since 1986 — the 12 months that noticed Argentina rating on Maradona’s “Hand of God” aim within the quarter-final towards England — and a victory on this event would see Messi lastly maintain the World Cup aloft.
However he’s not the one dwelling legend chasing that unattainable dream.
One other legend chasing a World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal
Lionel Messi just isn’t the one dwelling legend nonetheless dreaming of a World Cup, as Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo additionally has but to style that glory.
Ronaldo grew to become the primary participant to attain in 5 totally different World Cups, when he scored in Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Ghana to open their World Cup. The aim additionally made him, at 37, the oldest participant to attain a aim for Portugal in a World Cup.
Nonetheless, this has been a quite tumultuous 12 months for Ronaldo. He parted methods with Manchester United simply because the World Cup started, and there are experiences that he has been supplied a blockbuster contract to play for Al-Nassr within the Saudi Skilled League.
What may convey that 12 months to a extra satisfying finish?
Profitable his first World Cup.
If that feels like an excellent storyline to you, then Portugal is your staff the remainder of the way in which.
The staff with the perfect nickname: Japan
Possibly you might be searching for an excellent nickman to anchor your help over the following few weeks.
Look no additional than Japan.
The Samurai Blue certified for the knockout spherical because the winners of Group E, because of their 2-1 victory over Spain of their remaining match of group play. Whereas there are different super nicknames within the sport — together with nicknames for groups nonetheless standing, such because the Socceroos, the Taegeuk Warriors, and the Three Lions — there’s something about Japan’s nickname that conjures up pictures of delight.
And talking of delight, you may see what their qualification for the knockout spherical meant to their supporters:
Japanese followers weep as they witness their staff stun Spain and prime their group, eliminating Germany. Soccer is at its finest when it empowers followers to stay out their wildest goals and make recollections they may carry without end. How will you not love this Sport? pic.twitter.com/PpQdCpEJXm
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) December 1, 2022
The defending champions: France
Not since 1962 as a nation gained back-to-back World Cups, when Brazil defeated Czechia to win their second-straight title.
France is hoping to match that feat.
Within the historical past of the World Cup, solely two nations have tasted the glory of successful back-to-back World Cups. Italy was the primary to perform that feat, successful in 1934 and once more in 1938. Brazil matched that, with their victories in 1958 and 1962.
France, by successful in Qatar, would change into simply the third nation to ever win back-to-back World Cups.
If rooting for historical past is your factor, France may be your staff.
Or it may not be.
The staff chasing historical past: Brazil
Brazil may change into the primary nation to win six World Cups with a victory in Qatar.
They already prepared the ground with 5 World Cup victories, trailed by each Germany and Italy, however a victory on this 12 months’s World Cup would see Brazil put far between themselves and people two nations.
Hopefully these ideas have pointed you in the best route.
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