Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has tipped Argentina and Brazil to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The tournament kicks off on 20 November in Qatar, with hysteria building ahead of that date.
Reporters asked Xavi which nation he believes will prevail at the FIFA World Cup, to which he suggested Argentina and Brazil are the favorites.
He said before Barcelona’s clash with Almeria at the Nou Camp on Saturday, 5 November (via SPORT):
“They (Argentina and Brazil) are one step above the others at a technical level, in my opinion. Despite this, there may be surprises. Spain, France and England are great European teams”
Xavi: “The World Cup? I see Argentina and Brazil more prepared than the rest of the national teams, including the European teams… There are strong teams such as France, Spain and England but I think that Argentina and Brazil are stronger.”
Argentina are certainly among the favorites to win their third FIFA World Cup in what will be Lionel Messi’s last appearance at the tournament.
La Albiceleste are in Group C alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.
They kick off their campaign against the Saudis on 22 November.
Argentina came close to winning the World Cup in 2014 but were defeated 1-0 by Germany in the final in extra-time at the Maracana Stadium in Brazil.
Selecao are also among the frontrunners to lift their sixth FIFA World Cup, given the enormous talent Tite’s side possesses.
Neymar, Vinicius Jr, Thiago Silva, and Casemiro will all be eager to win Brazil their first World Cup trophy since 2002.
Tite’s side are in Group G and face Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon.
Selecao finished top of the CONMBEOL World Cup qualifying group ahead of Argentina by six points. Both nations went unbeaten during their campaign.
They were set to play one another in their final fixture of the qualifiers, but it was called off due to alleged COVID-19 breaches by Argentina, per Daily News Egypt.
Germany forward Timo Werner ruled out of FIFA World Cup
Xavi did not tip Germany to succeed at the FIFA World Cup, and Die Mannschaft have been hit by an injury to Werner.
The RB Leipzig striker picked up an ankle injury in the Bundesliga side’s 4-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, 2 November.
He has been impressive since returning to the Red Bull Arena from Chelsea in the summer for €20 million.
A very tough one to take for me! I will be out for the next weeks, will miss the World Cup and will have to support @RBLeipzig and @DFB_Team from the couch unfortunately thanks for all your messages!
Werner has scored nine goals and provided four assists in 16 appearances across competitions.
The forward boasts a fine record for the German national side, scoring 24 goals in 55 international caps. He made three appearances at the 2018 World Cup.
Hansi Flick’s side will have to do without Werner in a dangerous-looking Group E, which possesses Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners.
They also come up against Japan, a side that made it to the last 16 in 2018, and Costa Rica.
To read more news, click here.