Where the 2022 World Cup will be won… and lost
Some of the finest talent on the planet, along with their loyal legions of passionate supporters, are preparing to descend on Qatar for the grandest spectacle that soccer has to offer. Others may like to bill themselves as the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’, but it is FIFA’s flagship event that truly ticks those boxes.
The eyes of billions from every corner of the globe will descend on one corner of the Middle East when the most prestigious of sporting prizes comes up for grabs.
Plenty consider themselves to be contenders, but many will be merely pretenders. The likes of 5/1 favourites Brazil, 13/2 defending champions France, 7/1 shots England, Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina and a youthful Spain squad all figure prominently in the outright winner and top scorer markets included in the TPP Guide for World Cup that helps to shape and narrow focus in pursuit of the ultimate goal.
History will be made as record books are re-written, with some stunning venues providing the backdrop to tales of skill and endeavor that will inevitably stand the test of time.
Al Bayt Stadium
A first ball at the 2022 World Cup finals will be kicked in anger at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor City, 21 miles north of Doha. The venue, which can welcome some 60,000 spectators through its doors, encapsulates what the Qatari finals are all about.
Sustainability was at the forefront of construction plans – with numerous parks, lakes and protected greenbelt land a short stroll away – and the design is as eye-catching as it is ground-breaking. Its tent-like structure offers a nod to the nomadic people of the region, while the top tier of seating can be removed after the tournament.
While all of Qatar’s host venues are a treat for the senses, none are as visually spectacular as the Al-Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. The ground looks like it has arrived in the desert from outer space, with its white curves and swirls reflecting the wind-filled sails of the traditional dhow boats from a rich fishing and pearl-diving past.
Luscious parkland and leisure facilities surround the arena, which is another that will see capacity reduced after the finals as seats are donated to other sporting projects and causes around the world.
Lusail Iconic Stadium
The biggest ground in use at Qatar 2022 will be the Lusail Stadium, which promises to be iconic in more than just name when it plays host to 80,000 excited fans at every stage of the competition through to the final itself.
The design is inspired by hand-crafted bowls found across the Arab and Islamic world, with a golden exterior set to fade over time. Its legacy will live on, though, as the venue is to be transformed into a community space for schools, shops, cafes, sporting facilities and health clinics.
With so much going on in and around all of the stadiums at the 2022 World Cup finals – with eight venues catering to every whim of a global audience – anybody fortunate enough to take in the live experience promises to walk away with enough memories t