Wednesday, November 23, 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022: Germany seeks World Cup redemption as Spain and Croatia begin their campaigns

FIFA World Cup 2022: Germany eye World Cup redemption as Spain, Croatia kick off

 DOHA: Germany begin their path to World Cup redemption on Wednesday after the 2018 ghastliness show in Russia, with Spain and Croatia also kicking off their campaigns in Qatar.

After Saudi Arabia stunned Lionel Messi's Argentina, ending the South American champions' 36-match unbeaten run, Germany will be on guard in their opening match against Japan.

Croatia, shock other participants four years ago, take on Morocco in the early game. Spain face Costa Rica in the evening before Belgium play Canada in the late match.

As defending champions Germany crashed out in the group stage in Russia, suffering their earliest World Cup exit since 1938.

"We realize that what happened four-and-a-half years ago was horrendous, so we had truly a wait," said Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich.

"The main game is critical. We lost our most memorable game at the last Euros and we didn't win the tournament, so I trust tomorrow we will win."

The four-time title holders have been steady yet not spectacular under Hansi Flick, who took over last year after long-serving coach Joachim Loew stood down.

Spain desire to make a far smoother entrance than they did in Russia, where Julen Lopetegui was sacked just before the tournament for accepting the Real Madrid work.

They have the third most youthful squad at the World Cup, with Luis Enrique leaning on more youthful talents while a few more established players like Sergio Ramos were avoided with regards to the squad.

"It's exceptionally sure because youthful players bring energy to the team, we attempt to manage that with the experience we have as staff," said Luis Enrique.

There's simply no time to spare for Belgium's brilliant generation who formed the backbone of the squad that finished third at the last World Cup.

With Romelu Lukaku to miss the initial two group games and captain Eden Hazard reduced to a piece part job at Real Madrid, Belgium will depend heavily on Kevin De Bruyne.

Belgium, ranked second on the planet behind Brazil, played a warm-up cordial against Egypt last week in Kuwait yet lost 2-1.

In Canada, they meet a team returning to the World Cup without precedent for 36 years. The Canadians have been boosted by the re-visitation of full wellness of Alphonso Davies.

Croatia playmaker Luka Modric has warned his team-mates not to anticipate a repeat of their heroics from the last World Cup, when the nation of a little more than 4,000,000 punched above their weight to reach the final.

"Whatever we've had to deal with during the 2018 World Cup was an unforgettable encounter, yet we need to set it aside and spotlight on what is ahead of us," said Modric.

While Saudi Arabia stole the headlines on the pitch, World Cup organizers faced growing questions Tuesday about whether the rainbow logo can be displayed in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Seven European teams including England and Germany have abandoned plans for their captains to wear a rainbow-themed armband because of the threat of FIFA disciplinary action.

Germany's football association said it was examining assuming FIFA's threat to rebuff players who wear the "OneLove" armband was legal.

Belgium's Jan Vertonghen ventured to such an extreme as to say he was "afraid" to talk about human privileges.

"I'm afraid in the event that I say something about this I probably won't have the option to play tomorrow," the safeguard said.

"It's an encounter I've never felt in football. I feel controlled. I'm afraid to try and say something about this."

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