Van Dijk Tips France, Brazil, England Favourites To Win 2022 World Cup

October 12, 2022
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Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has tipped the trio of France, Brazil and England as favourites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The former Southampton center-back is expected to captain the Netherlands as they look to win their first World Cup.

Speaking with GQ, the Liverpool defender stated that three aforementioned countries are in best position to win the trophy.

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“I would say Brazil, France, and — do I say England? England has a fantastic squad.

“Brazil has the experience of the players as well as the talent. And there’s the world-class quality of France too.”

Interestingly, the three teams have historically been the favorites to lift the trophy at each World Cup they have participated in.

Brazil have won the competition a record five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002), while France have lifted the trophy twice (1998, 2018).

England, meanwhile, won the World Cup only once in 1966 on home soil. They have been drawn against Wales, the USA and Iran in Group B of this year’s edition.

Style of play

Van Dijk is a physically strong, right-footed centre-back, who usually features on the left-hand side of central defence, although he can also play as a right-sided centre-back. He is gifted with pace, good technique, and an eye for goal, and is an effective set-piece taker. Regarding his ability, former Celtic teammate Kris Commons commented that Van Dijk was “comfortable on the ball”, also noting that “He had good technique and a wonderful right foot. He was good on set-pieces, some of the free-kicks he scored for Celtic are absolute wonders. He could read the game well. He had an aura about him, a confidence, because I think he knew he was good.”

Neil McGuinness, senior scout at Celtic when Van Dijk was signed, called him “everything you would want if you could create a profile of the ideal central defender”, praising him as a “very smooth ball-playing defender” who possesses aerial prowess, skills from dead ball situations, and “strong leadership qualities”, while commenting that since his move to England, he is “more tactically aware now […] his anticipation and timing has improved and he is a lot more of an all-rounder”. McGuinness believes Van Dijk’s “biggest problem” is that he “can switch off when the game is comfortable”. In 2018, Steve Douglas of The Globe and Mail described Van Dijk with the following words: “Powerful in the air, measured with the ball at his feet, quick, and with superb positional sense, van Dijk [sic] has it all.”] Dario Pergolizzi also described Van Dijk as a good marker in 2019.

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