Geographically, Canada is the second largest country in the world, but it is more than “dwarf” in terms of football. Even then. For the first time in 36 years, a team with Maple Leafs has qualified for the World Cup.
Responsible for the success is a coach who trains a men’s team at a high level for the first time: John Hardman, However, the Englishman has a lot of tournament experience, as she participated in four World Championships and three Olympic Games with the women’s teams from New Zealand and Canada. He won a bronze medal with the Canadians at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Games. The 46-year-old has been the men’s head coach since 2018 – and immediately made a first in football history: he is the first coach to lead both a women’s and a men’s team to a World Cup.
If you ask European football fans about a Canadian football international, the most likely answer would be the name. alphonso davis Fall. The 21-year-old is a Canadian superstar. In early 2019, Davies switched from Vancouver Whitecaps to FC Bayern Munich and has since become record champions. While he is primarily used as a left-back at Bayern, he usually plays a bit more aggressively in left midfield on the national team. Davies missed the deciding World Cup qualifiers due to myocarditis, so he should be more motivated to attend the World Cup in Qatar.
Canadian superstar Alphonso Davis in action
“to watch the players”
Besides Alfonso Davies, the Canadians have another youngster who is on his way to becoming a world star: Jonathan David, The center forward moved from Gent, Belgium to Lille, France for €27 million in 2020 and became Ligue 1 champions with OSC 2021. In the current season, the 22-year-old attacker has scored seven goals in the first ten. game – and thus only one goal less than top stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in this period.
En route to the World Cup, however, neither Davis nor David scored the most goals for North Americans, but Canada’s record goalscorer. sil larin, With 13 goals in 16 games, the 27-year-old played a big part in qualifying. In everyday life, Larin has been taking off his football boots for the Belgian champions Club Brugge since this summer. He previously played for Beikta Istanbul and achieved a double with Turks in 2021.
With Besiktas, Larin played with Atiba Hutchinson. At 39, he is the oldest player on the Canadian team – and if nominated, could become the second oldest World Cup outfield player in history. The 39-year-old pulls the strings in central midfield and holds the team together, some of which are still very young. “He means a lot to us,” coach Harderman told The Athletic about his captain. However, there are still small question marks over Hutchinson’s participation in the World Cup, as he has been suffering from bone swelling since the pre-season at Besiktas. Recently, however, he expressed optimism that he would be fit in time for the tournament.
Hutchinson is the only active player in the Canadian team to have been born when the country last played in the World Cup. Until now, Canadians were only at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. At that time, after three defeats (against France, Hungary and the USSR), the preliminary round had a surprising end. The Canadians didn’t go down in those games, but they didn’t score either. So the entire football nation of Canada is still waiting for the first goal in the Men’s World Cup.
Can become second oldest player in World Cup history: Atiba Hutchinson of Canada
It is already clear that after the tournament in Qatar, Canadians known as “The Canucks” will participate in at least one more World Cup: the 2026 World Cup with three hosts (the United States and Mexico). As one, the team is automatically qualified.
World Cup prospects
Canada was very consistent in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. With 28 points from 14 games, the Canadians finished first in the Americas group for Qatar, with 11 games unbeaten.
Canada, on the other hand, will go into the World Cup as a clear underdog, as the team was placed in Group F alongside Belgium, Croatia and Morocco. On the first day of play, they will face strong Belgium, then 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia. Therefore, it will be very difficult for the Canadians – despite the outstanding players Davis and David – to get through the group stage. But at least the first World Cup goal and the first point won in the World Cup final looks quite realistic.
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