What to know about the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, odds, TV schedule

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A large photo of Argentina's Lionel Messi hangs on a building in Doha, Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which begins on November 20.

A large photo of Argentina’s Lionel Messi hangs on a building in Doha, Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which begins on November 20.

PA

The FIFA World Cup kicks off on Sunday with host country Qatar meeting Ecuador. The United States will open the pool game the following day, November 21, against Wales.

As the biggest sporting event in the world approaches – and we think about how the experience will play out in Kansas City in less than four years – we take a look at some of the stories, people, facts and figures of the World Cup, starting with the only time Sporting KC’s Peter Vermes, as national team assistant coach, competed against who he believes is the greatest to play the game to Lionel Messi .

And won.

The year was 2005 and the occasion of the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. Vermes had played for the Kansas City Wizards but was four years away from becoming manager of a team later known as Sporting KC.

Here he was one of two assistants for the American team.

Messi, playing for his Argentina national team, was a 17-year-old wonderkid who had made his professional debut for Barcelona a year earlier. He turned 18 during the competition which did not start well for him or his homeland.

Argentina and USA met in a group stage opener and Vermes produced the scouting report. He knew all about Messi and implored coach Ziggy Schmidt to deploy unconventional defensive tactics.

Vermes had recently attended a South American Under-20 competition and found himself sitting next to the broadcasters. During the game against Argentina, Vermes saw and heard about this remarkable young player.

“All he says is Messi, Messi, Messi, when he dribbled past a guy,” Vermes said.

He called Schmidt after the game and told him he had never seen a better young player. “I didn’t know how we were going to stop it,” he said.

Vermes’ idea: Slow down Messi by man-marking him, assigning a player not to leave him unchecked in an effort to reduce his influence. It was an old school practice and Schmidt was not keen on the idea. It turned out that the strategy was not necessary at first.

For some reason young Messi didn’t play in the first half as the USA took a 1-0 lead. But Vermes walked away from the team early at half-time and watched as Argentina warmed up. It became clear that Messi would come into the game.

“We have to mark it with a man,” Vermes pleaded to Schmidt.

But Schmidt liked the way the team played and didn’t want to change. Just in case, Vermes approached the player who would be tasked with staying with Messi should that happen: Benny Feilhaber, who later played for Vermes at Kansas City.

Argentina controlled the ball to start the second half.

“It’s not a lie,” Vermes said. “Messi gets the ball, dribbles from midfield to 25 yards. He takes a shot and he hits the crossbar for a goal kick.

“Ziggy leans over and says, ‘We have to find someone on Messi. “”

Feilhaber got the job done and the United States completed the triumph with one goal.

It was a triumph to be savored as the tournament became Messi’s.

Argentina have not lost. Messi opened the scoring in a 2-1 victory over Brazil in the semi-finals and scored twice from the penalty spot in the 2-1 triumph over Nigeria for the Championship. Six goals earned Messi the Golden Boot as the event’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as the best player.

The United States withdrew from pool play but fell in the round of 16.

A postscript:

“I know that’s true,” Vermes said. “The president of the Argentine FA called the coach after our game and said, ‘Here’s how it’s going to be: Messi has to play every minute of every game going forward. If he’s out for something else an injury or a (red) card, I’ll fire you immediately and send a new coach.

It was the start of Vermes’ longstanding admiration for Messi – and why his choice of Argentina to win the World Cup is based at least in part on sentiment.

“I would like to see Messi win because I feel like he’s been the best player in the world for a long time,” Vermes said. “And I think unfortunately he will be looked at differently if he doesn’t win a World Cup. If he does, I think he will cement his place, at least I would say, as the best to ever play. gambling. “

US PROGRAM, TV

The United States are in Group B with Wales, England and Iran. Here are the game and TV schedules:

Nov. 21 USA vs. Wales, 1 p.m. (center) FOX

Nov. 25 USA vs. England, 1 p.m. FOX

Nov. 29, USA vs. Iran, 1 p.m. FOX

ODDS OF WINNING THE FIFA WORLD CUP TROPHY

The trophy is made with approximately $161,000 in gold. Here are the odds from vegasinsider.com a week before the opening game:

Brazil +400 (bet $100 to win $400)

Argentina +550

France +600

England +800

Spain +850

Germany +100

Netherlands +1200

France +1400

Belgium +1600

Croatia +5000

Uruguay +5000

Senegal +8000

Serbia +8000

Switzerland +10000

Mexico +15000

United States +15000

Poland +15000

Ecuador +20000

Canada +20000

Wales +20000

Morocco +20000

Cameroon +25000

Japan +25000

South Korea +25000

Ghana +25000

Qatar +25000

Australia +35000

Tunisia +50000

Iran +50000

Saudi Arabia +75000

Costa Rica +75000

2022 WORLD CUP TOP SCORER ODDS

Harry Kane, England +700

Kylian Mbappe, France +900

Junior Neymar, Brazil +1200

Karim Benzema, France +1200

Lionel Messi, Argentina +1200

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal +1600

THE WORLD CUP IS OVER

Most leagues by country

5 Brazil

4 Germany (including West Germany)

4 Italy

Most leagues by continent

12 Europe

9 South America

0 North America, Asia, Africa, Australia

Most non-championship final appearances

3 Netherlands

FOOTBALL IS THE MOST POPULAR SPORT IN…

In 10 of the 13 nations studied by Nielsen, football ranks among the three most popular sports:

Australia: Australia dominates football, tennis and cricket

Brazil: football, volleyball, extreme sports

Canada: ice hockey, figure skating, snowboarding

China: basketball, badminton, football

France: football, tennis, rugby

Germany: football, ski jumping, biathlon

India: cricket, football, badminton

Italy: football, motor sports, athletics

Japan: figure skating, baseball, football

South Korea: short track speed skating, soccer, figure skating

Spain: football, tennis, basketball

United Kingdom: football, boxing, motor sports

United States: football, basketball, baseball

MOST COMMON PLAYER NAMES

According to research by kelbet.es, a sports betting resource, Carlos has been the most common name for a World Cup player since the event began in 1930. Here is the list of the top 10 common names for more of 7,000 players:

72 Carlos

59 Jose

56 Luis

48 Mario

44 John

42 David

42 Peter

38 Roberto

36 Antonio

Jan 36

36 George

WORLD CUP BIRTHPLACES

According to bettingexpert.com, these cities have produced the most World Cup players since 1930

95 Montevideo, Uruguay

72 Mexico City, Mexico

66 Buenos Aires, Argentina

63 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

63Santiago, Costa Rica

54 Vienna, Austria

KANSAS CITY EVENING

Nobody watches parties like Kansas City. Sporting KC and The Power & Light District have teamed up to bring the parties to Kansas City Live! and no other ads. Entry is free for group stage matches involving the United States and Mexico, but these will be ticketed events.

For more information: https://www.sportingkc.com/wc2022/

UPCOMING ATTRACTION: WORLD CUP 2026 CITIES

A preview of the next World Cup and where the matches will be played

WE

New York

dallas

Kansas City

Atlanta

philadelphia cream

San Francisco (Bay Area)

Boston

Los Angeles

Houston

philadelphia cream

Miami

Seattle

CANADA

Toronto

Vancouver

MEXICO

Mexico City

Monterrey

Guadalajara

Blair Kerkhoff has been covering sports for the Kansas City Star since 1989.

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