- FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Meet the captains of the 32 teams
A look at the 32 players who will proudly lead their countries to the 2022 World Cup.
The FIFA World Cup is getting closer every day. 32 countries are preparing for a roller coaster of emotions. Further ahead, 32 men are preparing to lead their countries in Qatar. Through this article, we analyze the 32 captains of the teams that qualified for the World Cup in November, group by group.
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Qatar: Hassan Al-Haydos
Hassan Al-Haydos can be considered a Qatari legend. He played for Qatari club Al-Sadd throughout his career, making 261 appearances and scoring 84 goals for them. The striker has played under the likes of current Barcelona coach Xavi and was named 'Qatar's Best Player' in 2014 in a poll, receiving 58 out of 104 votes from a panel of analysts, coaches and administrators. He is his country's top scorer with 163 caps and fourth top scorer with 33 goals.
Ecuador: Enner Valencia
Enner Valencia is an Ecuadorian icon, playing for clubs like West Ham and Everton. He is currently with Turkish club Fenerbahce, who finished second in the league last season. Valencia love to hit shots with immense power, and their first West Ham goal was a 25-yard radius, with an impressive speed of 60 mph. Initially a winger, he was tried out as a striker after the untimely death of former Birmingham City striker Christian Benítez, who was just 27 years old. Valencia is Ecuador's current top scorer, with 35 goals scored in 72 appearances for the South American national team.
Senegal: Kalidou Koulibaly
The Senegalese captain Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the pillars of the defense of the Italian SSC Napoli, the club where he has been since 2014. Despite being born in France, he had Senegalese eligibility, due to his parents being Senegalese, so he made his debut in 2015. the best strikers in the world, in Serie A and in the Champions League. He could have played for France with manager Didier Deschamps eager to call him up, but he chose Senegal to "write the history of the future of Senegalese football" – something he has done, earning 62 caps for Senegal but yet to score. goal. He hopes to change that in Qatar.
Holanda: Virgil van Dijk
Arguably the best defender in the world, the Dutchman missed Euro 2020 through injury, but since his return he has been as classy as ever. He is the only defender to have won the UEFA Player of the Year award, with the victory coming in 2019. Playing for Liverpool, the defender has won every trophy possible at club level, but has yet to add an international trophy to his collection. The second most expensive defender in history played 47 games for the Dutch national team and scored 5 goals in that period.
Inglaterra: Harry Kane
Harry Kane is a name certainly known around the world. A lifelong Tottenham player, Harry Kane is considered one of the best strikers in the world. The Englishman has already been dropped by Arsenal's academy for being "too chubby", according to Arsenal academy manager Liam Brady. After a brief trial at Watford, Tottenham signed him, and Tottenham is where he stayed. A forward who knows where the goal is, Kane has 73 appearances with England and has scored 53 goals, having taken the Tres Leones to the semifinals of the World Cup 2018 and the final of Eurocopa 2020. He will hope to improve this year and win the tournament.
Irã: Ehsan Hajsafi
Ehsan Hajsafi is a midfielder turned left back. He played for several clubs, most notably current club AEK Athens. The 32-year-old has also played for Iran since 2008 and has made 119 appearances for the Asian country, scoring 7 goals. At the 2018 World Cup, he played against teams such as Spain and Portugal. At the 2014 World Cup they faced Argentina. He hopes to create sparks with Iran in this tournament.
United States: Christian Pulisic
Nicknamed "Captain America", the Hershey-born player makes regular appearances for Chelsea. As the youngest player to score a hat-trick for Chelsea, scoring one with just 21 against Burnley, he is certainly a big part of Chelsea's future plans. He has played for the US national team since 2016. He made his debut for German club Borussia Dortmund on January 24, 2016 and made his US debut shortly thereafter on March 29, 2016. He has scored 21 goals. They won the CONCACAF Nations League, and their extra-time penalty was the winning goal.
Loss: Gareth Bale
The former Real Madrid striker recently signed with MLS club LAFC after his contract expired. This will likely ensure he is World Cup fit. The Welshman helped end Wales' 64-year World Cup hiatus, with his free-kick against Ukraine in the play-off final deflected by Andriy Yarmolenko before crossing the line and was the only goal of the game. The Real Madrid icon made 106 appearances for Wales and scored 39 goals. This will likely be his last World Cup, as reports claim he considered withdrawing if Wales failed to qualify.
Argentina: Lionel Messi
One of the best players of all time. Lionel Messi, who plays for PSG, is among the best players in the world, even at the age of 35. The Argentinian has won both the Copa America and the inaugural Finalissima this year, and is hoping to be 3 out of 3 in terms of international trophies available to him. As it will likely be his last World Cup, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner will be looking to do what the iconic Diego Maradona did in 1986 and win the World Cup for Argentina.
Saudi Arabia: Salman Al-Faraj
Another club man like Al-Haydos, Salman Al-Faraj has spent his entire life at Saudi club Al-Hilal FC. He came through the youth ranks and made 208 appearances for the club, scoring 17 goals. The midfielder played 68 matches for the Saudi Arabia national team, scoring 8 goals. The most notable of those 8, however, is surely the penalty kick tie against Egypt in the 2018 World Cup. Saudi Arabia ended up winning the match 2-1, their only win of the tournament.
Mexico: Andres Guadardo
Guadardo came through the ranks of Mexican club Atlas, but spent most of his life in Spain, with a total of 325 appearances for Deportivo La Coruña, Valencia and Real Betis. The midfielder played 175 games for Mexico, scoring 28 goals. He made his Mexico debut in December 2005, just four months after making his senior debut. However, after a stellar 17-year career, this will likely be Guadardo's last World Cup.
Poland: Robert Lewandowski
Among the best strikers in the world. The Polish striker, currently at Bayern Munich, is the most capped player for the Polish national team and also the country's all-time top scorer, with 132 caps and 76 goals for the Central European country. However, surprisingly, the Polish leader does not have a single goal in the World Cup. He hopes to change that this year.
France: Hugo Lloris
The Frenchman is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Despite being 35 years old, he still has a lot to do, certainly more than enough for the 2022 World Cup. He can be considered a Tottenham icon, having played 336 games for the London club. He has also played 139 games for France and hopes his team can play as the champions' starters.
Australia: Matt Ryan
The Australian goalkeeper has been a fixture on the Australian national team sheet since 2012 and the retirement of Mark Schwarzer. The Australian went through clubs like Brighton, Valencia and Arsenal, and has played in two World Cups. However, this will be the first World Cup he has captained, and he hopes it will be a memorable one.
Denmark: Simon Kjaer
The Danish defender has recovered well from a number of serious injuries and secured his place at Scudetto-winning AC Milan, and is expected to take over the captaincy after current captain Alessio Romagnoli's contract expires. He is also known for helping the medical team when international teammate Christian Eriksen collapsed during Euro 2020, earning him worldwide praise.
Tunisia: Youssef Msakni
The Tunisian captain already has experience in Qatar, and is currently signed by Al-Duhail. He spent last season on loan at Al Arabi, where the striker scored 10 goals in 20 games. Msakni made 84 appearances for Tunisia, scoring 17 goals. He made his debut for Tunisia aged just 19 in a friendly, but has since been a mainstay in the side.
Spain: Sergio Busquets
Normally it would be a different Sergio, Sergio Ramos from PSG. However, he has not been chosen by Spain and Luis Enrique since 2020, hence the inclusion of Sergio Busquets here. The Barcelona veteran, who has played for Barcelona all his life, has made 137 appearances for Spain and scored two goals. At 33, this is probably his last World Cup, but also his first as captain, provided Ramos is not called up.
Costa Rica: Bryan Ruiz
The attacking midfielder is no stranger to wearing the captain's armband, having worn it for Belgian club Genk aged 21 in 2007. Since then, he has had spells with clubs such as Fulham and PSV. Making his international debut in 2005, the attacking midfielder made 144 appearances for his country, scoring 29 goals. He hopes to bring joy to the Costa Ricans at the tournament.
Germany: Manuel Neuer
The German goalkeeper revolutionized the goalkeeping position. His "broom keeper" style, a stark contrast to convention, became the norm over the years, with the German leading the charge. Playing for Bayern Munich since 2011, the 6'4 goalkeeper has made 310 appearances for the Bavarians. He has made 113 appearances for Germany and is looking forward to a better tournament than 2018, when the Germans were knocked out in the group stage.
Japan: Maya Yoshida
The Japanese centre-back has been a fixture of his country since 2010, having reached the youth ranks of the Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight. He is probably best known for his time at Southampton, where he made 154 appearances and scored 6 goals. He has just signed for German club Schalke 04 for free as his contract with Sampdoria has expired. He made 119 appearances for Japan, scoring 12 goals.
Belgium: Eden Hazard
The Real Madrid striker has had a torrid period in Spain. Bought from Chelsea, where he was arguably the third best player in the world, he has struggled with weight issues, injuries and poor form at Los Blancos. But in its day, extreme can still be deadly. The Chelsea legend has captained the Belgian side since 2015 and has made 120 appearances for the team, scoring 33 goals. This will likely be the last tournament of the Belgian golden generation, and they hope it will be a memorable one.
Canada: Atiba Hutchinson
Hutchinson can be described as the oldest on the Canada youth team. He will lead a side with the likes of Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David to the country's first World Cup since 1986. Hutchinson is a robust midfielder who has played for Turkish club Besiktas since 2013, of which he is also the captain. He made 265 appearances for the Turkish giants, scoring 23 goals. For Canada, he made 97 appearances, scoring 9 goals. He hopes to reach the milestone of 100 World Cup caps.
Marruecos: Romain Saiss
Born in France to a Moroccan father and French mother, Saiss was eligible for both countries but chose Morocco. He is probably best known for his time at Wolves, where he made 176 appearances and scored 13 goals. He is now at Besiktas after his Wolves contract expired this year. The defender, who can also play in midfield, made 63 appearances for the African national team, scoring one goal. He will play his second World Cup in 2022.
Croatia: Luka Modric
The Croatian, even at the age of 36, is still at his best at Real Madrid. He makes midfield look so easy. The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner has played 294 games for Real Madrid, scoring 22 goals. A crucial part of Real and Croatia, this will likely be his last World Cup, perhaps even his last season in professional football. He has been a mainstay of the Croatia national team since 2006, where he made 152 appearances and scored 22 goals. He is the most capped player in Croatia's history. He hopes his 2022 tournament will be memorable for all the right reasons.
Brazil coach Tite had given the bracelet to PSG star Neymar Jr in 2018, but withdrew it a year later, making the decision to alternate the responsibility to different team members. The recipients are usually the aforementioned Neymar Jr, defender Thiago Silva, from Chelsea, and defensive midfielder Casemiro, from Real Madrid, all leaders in their own way. Neymar Jr leads with his performances on the field, Silva for being the most experienced player in the squad and Casemiro for his vocal character. Whoever wore the armband that day will certainly be something to watch for at Brazil's games.
Serbian: Dusan Tadic
The Ajax striker, since signing for Ajax in 2018, has not missed a single game due to injury. That means he has played all 192 games he could have played, taking suspensions into account. The forward, who can also play on the wing and in midfield, made 127 appearances for Ajax and scored 66 goals. He made his debut for Serbia in 2008, but became a starter only in 2011. However, since his debut he has played 88 games and scored 18 goals. The captain hopes to bring more moments of magic to the Serbs.
Switzerland: Granit Xhaka
The Arsenal midfielder has captained the Gunners before, but that ended in catastrophe when he shouted insults at the fans while being booed. However, he remains Switzerland's captain and a highly respected member of the team. He has made 104 appearances for the Swiss national team, scoring two goals so far. He hopes to lead the country into the final stages of the tournament.
Cameroon: Vincent Aboubakar
Remarkably, the official striker never made more than 85 appearances for any team, except for the Cameroon national team, where he made 87 appearances, scoring 33 goals. Currently at Al-Nassr, in Saudi Arabia, the Cameroonian played in Porto and Besiktas. Aboubakar is a strong presence and loves to outplay opposing defenders. He will be eager to give some defenders nightmares in Qatar.
Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo
Widely considered one of the greatest players in history, Cristiano Ronaldo has captained Portugal since 2008, aged just 23. Although he may be 37 now, he still has the physique and energy to lead this new generation on the Portuguese side. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is currently looking to leave Manchester United after failing to qualify for the Champions League. However, he will certainly captain Portugal in Qatar and look to make what is likely to be his last World Cup, the most successful World Cup of all time.
Win: Andre Ayew
The Ghanaian, probably best known for his spells at Swansea and West Ham, is part of a footballing family. His father is Abedi Pelé, a Ghanaian attacking midfielder considered one of the best African players of all time, and his brother is Jordan Ayew, who plays for Crystal Palace and has played in Ghana alongside André. The winger will make his third appearance for Ghana at a World Cup, with his inclusion in the 2010 and 2014 World Cup squads. With Ghana failing to qualify in 2018, Ayew hopes his team can make up for the hiatus in a big way. style. 8 years of the tournament.
Uruguai: Diego Godin
The Uruguayan is certainly on his last legs. Signed by Argentine Velaz, the 36-year-old defender is probably best known for his spell at Atlético de Madrid, where he made 277 appearances and scored 17 goals. However, it is now likely that he will just hit Velaz to keep him in contention for the World Cup. The defender played 159 matches for Uruguay and scored 8 goals. In what could be the last games of his career, he hopes they will be memorable.
South Korea: Son Heung-Min
The South Korean can easily be considered one of the best wingers in the world. He has played for Tottenham Hotspur since 2015, making 232 appearances and scoring 93 goals. The winger, nicknamed "Sonaldo" by José Mourinho after his impressive individual goal against Burnley, is probably the best-known South Korean footballer of all time. He made his debut in 2010 and has played 102 games for his country to date, scoring 33 goals. Having scored 3 of those 33 World Cup goals, he is South Korea's top scorer in the World Cup (along with Park Ji-sung and Ahn Jung-hwan). He hopes to take the lead at this World Cup.
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