One more month to go before the 2022 World Cup. Scheduled from November 20 to December 18, it will be the last edition with a 32-team format. Five African nations will take part. Reigning African champion, Senegal with its range of stars remains the most awaited African team. But the continent is hungry for outstanding performances in the said competition.
After several participations that have often ended in failure, at best in the quarter-finals, at worst in the group phase, Africa is entitled to expect better representation from its representatives. Even today, failing to win the trophy or reach the final, the semi-final stage remains a goal not yet achieved by an African team. A last four that seems attainable for teams like Senegal or Morocco.
These are full of players who are among the best in the world. Like the Senegalese Sadio Mané and Kalidou Koulibali or the Moroccans Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi. Teams that also show a certain stability in terms of numbers. Finally, for the first time in history, the five African countries qualified for the 2022 World Cup will all be led by African coaches from the same country. At the end of August, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) described this step as “a giant step towards the development of African football. Proof that local expertise can also work well if given a chance”.
Nickname : Lions of Senegal
FIFA Ranking: 18th
Involvement: 2002 and 2018
Best performance: quarter-final (2002)
Player to watch: Sadio Mané (Forward, 30 years old)
Coach: Aliou Cissé (Senegalese, 46 years old)
2022 World Cup, Group A:
Senegal – Netherlands, November 21 at 1 p.m., Al Thumama Stadium
Qatar – Senegal, November 25 at 4 p.m., Al Thumama Stadium
Ecuador – Senegal, November 29 at 6 p.m., Khalifa International Stadium.
Nickname : Eagles of Carthage
FIFA Ranking: 30th
Contributions: 1978, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2018
Best performance: group stage
Player to watch: Wahbi Khazri (Forward, 31 years old)
Coach: Jalel Kadri (Tunisian, 50)
2022 World Cup, Group D:
Denmark – Tunisia, November 22 at 4 p.m., Education City Stadium
Tunisia – Australia, 26 November at 4 p.m., Al Janoub Stadium
Tunisia – France, November 30 at 6 p.m., Education City Stadium.
Nickname : Atlas lions
FIFA Ranking: 22nd
Involvement: 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998 and 2018
Best performance: Round of 16 (1986)
Player to watch: Hakim Ziyech (midfielder, 29 years old)
Coach: Walid Regragui (Moroccan, 47 years old)
2022 World Cup, Group F:
Morocco – Croatia, November 23 at 1 p.m., Al Bayt Stadium
Belgium – Morocco, 27 November at 4 p.m., Al Thumama Stadium
Canada – Morocco, December 1 at 6 p.m., Al Thumama Stadium.
Nickname : indomitable lions
FIFA Ranking: 43rd
Involvement: 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2022, 2010 and 2014
Best performance: quarter-final (1990)
Player to watch: André Zambo Anguissa (midfielder, 26 years old)
Coach: Rigobert Song (Cameroonian, 46 years old)
2022 World Cup, Group G:
Switzerland – Cameroon, 24 November at 1 p.m., Al Janoub Stadium
Cameroon – Serbia, November 28 at 1 p.m., Al Janoub Stadium
Cameroon – Brazil, December 2 at 10 p.m., Lusail Stadium.
Nickname : Black Stars
FIFA Ranking: 61st
Involvement: 2006, 2010 and 2014
Best performance: quarter-final (2010)
Player to watch: Thomas Partey (midfielder, 29 years old)
Coach: Otto Addo (Ghanaian, 47)
2022 World Cup, Group H:
Portugal-Ghana, November 24 at 7 p.m., Stadium 974
South Korea–Ghana, November 28 at 4 p.m., Education City Stadium
Ghana–Uruguay, December 2 at 6 p.m., Al Janoub Stadium.