Messi, Ronaldo, Benzema or Neymar, the pearls of Qatar

In the land of pearl fishermen, place in football gems. The superstars hope to shine in the 2022 World Cup that opens next Sunday in Qatar, between the last lights of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema and the flashes of Kylian Mbappé or Neymar.

– Messi, the last shine –

This is the last trophy missing from his incredible collection (41 titles): Lionel Messi was very close to the world title in 2014, losing the final against Germany (1-0 ap), but at the age of 35, the little Argentine leprechaun has one last chance to win the World Cup… on his fifth attempt.

In the condition of his N.10 and captain, Argentina has not lost in 35 games, it is the holder of the Copa America and it believes in its star, who will be the third in his shirt after 1978 and 1986 and could be Messi . the equal of Diego Maradona.

“With Argentina, we are doing well for the moment, people are enthusiastic,” commented the seven-time Ballon d’Or, who regained all his strength in Paris SG since the beginning of the season.

– Ronaldo, bling-bling and wearing –

He too is running after the planetary Grail, he too will join the closed circle of five-time world player (a record), but at the age of 37, can Cristiano Ronaldo regain his former brilliance?

The five-time Portuguese Ballon d’Or promotion is surrounded by doubts: lack of playing time at Manchester United, less sharp in Portugal, the “bling-bling” superstar seems to be showing some wear and tear.

However, his status as national team boss (191 caps, 117 goals) is not in jeopardy and he could become the absolute record holder in Qatar for the number of caps at world level (196 so far).

And probably not over yet: “CR7”, European champion 2016, Euro-2024 plan.

– Benzema, a golden striker –

By winning the Ballon d’Or 2022, Karim Benzema (34) entered another dimension, the planetary stars.

But despite his five Champions Leagues and his League of Nations coronation with the Blues in 2021, the Real Madrid center forward is still waiting for a major selection title.

Returning to the France team before last year’s Euros, after nearly six years of sidelining, “KB9” hopes to help France retain the world crown: “I will play hard, he said. He promised . Win it? Of course I want to win the World Cup!”

– Mbappé, the man worth millions –

The revelations about his record salary – 630 million euros if he stays at PSG until 2025 – shook the world of football … but Kylian Mbappé was forced to ignore it.

The Bondy striker (23) has a big goal: to confirm France’s coronation at the World Cup in 2018, which has earned him comparisons with “King” Pelé, another early genius.

In order to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Brazilian striker, triple world champion, Mbappé must however ignore the turmoil he has encountered in recent months: frustration with his positioning, perceived intentions, controversy over the rights to the image of the Blues, controversy on PSG’s move to “sailing” …

– Neymar, a crown to wear –

In Brazil, all the supporters hope that Pelé’s heir is called Neymar and not Mbappé.

Chilled by the failure at home in 2014, the Brazilians await the sixth planetary coronation of the “Seleçao”, which presents itself in Qatar as the world number 1, sure of its strengths and its N.10 and master to play, Neymar (30 years old), who is expected to play his last World Cup.

This season, the striker walks in the water and in the footsteps of Pelé: with 75 goals in the selection, he is only two lengths from the record of the “King” (77 goals).

“He is ready, we are very happy with Neymar’s level”, summed up his coach Tite in September.

– And also: De Bruyne, Kane, Mané, Lewandowski… –

Apart from the Italian European champions, who did not qualify, or the Norwegian phenomenon Erling Haaland, most of the big names in football are in Qatar.

The inspirations of the Belgian Kevin De Bruyne, the aggressiveness of the Englishman Harry Kane, the finish of the Polish Robert Lewandowski, the cunning of the German Thomas Müller or the openings of the Croatian Luka Modric promise an abundance of talent on the lawns of Qatar.

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