A total of 60 out of 64 matches have been played for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with only four teams left in the tournament. Regardless which remaining country will win it all, they all will rewrite the history book for good reasons.
As far as the French are concerned, they are bound to become the first team to successfully defend the world title, since Brazil last did it 60 years ago. For Croatia or Morocco, it will be their only World Cup trophy in the history of football, and the Atlas Lions could be the first African nation to emerge victorious in the tournament that happens every four years; They had already broken new ground by becoming the only country from the said continent to reach the semifinal stage of the quadrennial competition. In terms of the Messi-led La Albiceleste, not only the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will finally bring home the last missing piece of his trophy cabinet, the chance of a third World Cup trophy for Argentina, like France, is on the cards.
But before any of these four countries can think about participating in or winning the final, two teams must fall while the other two thrive in the last four stage, with the first semifinal clash being staged between Argentina and Croatia. We have some key stats and facts for you prior to the highly-anticipated match.
Second Chance Is Really Hard to Come By
A win in this match will see either of two ex Ballon d’Or winners, Messi and Modrić, to earn his golden redemption opportunity in the World Cup final, after the former first went into the finale back in 2014 and the latter did it in 2018. The clash is set to be the sixth meeting in all competitions, and the third World Cup matchup between both sides, and the record is honest even at the moment, with each of them recorded 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses. The match will decide who leads in the overall head-to-head history between Argentina and Croatia.
Argentina Is Undefeated in the Semifinal, Croatia Sets to Defeat Both South American Powerhouses
It is worth noting that La Albiceleste has never bowed out from the competition at this stage, and they are looking forward to reach their sixth final in the history of the World Cup; Their last semifinal in the competition was a penalty shoot-out victory against the Netherlands in the 2014 edition and a sixth final for Lionel Scaloni’s squad would be a milestone that is only fared better by Brazil (7) and Germany (8). As for Kockasti, they are poised to become only the second nation, after Germany in 2014, to overcome both Brazil and Argentina in the knockout round of the same World Cup.
Something to Forget for the Argentines
A loss in this match for La Albiceleste would be their fourth against an European nation in their last eight matchups against teams from the continent, in which one of those defeats was a 3-0 loss to their semifinal opponent this time around in the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Nevertheless, in two of those three draws against European counterparts, Messi’s Argentina has emerged the winner via spot kicks, including the last match against Oranje in the quarterfinal.
The match will take place on the 13th December 2022 at the Lusail Stadium.
Croatia defied all odds to overcome the almighty Brazil, and their tenacity and confidence level are at all-time high: https://www.otherleague.com/worldcup/croatia-has-shown-tenacity-but-is-that-enough-to-stop-brazil-from-dancing-again-in-the-2022-fifa-world-cup/
(Photo Credits: Daily Post Nigeria)