After the Copa America and projecting what is coming, it is clear that the qualifiers for Qatar 2022 will be stronger and uncertain than ever before. I say this, because after the continental contest in Brazil, many selections showed arguments to fight for the quotas to the planetary event.
Let’s start with Brazil. The recent monarch of South America has a really strong and consolidated base. Tite’s numbers are impressive, as in 42 matches, he has 33 wins, 7 draws and only two losses. Let’s move on: he has 93 goals for and only 11 against. That is, a performance above 83% and with a roster full of players in the main teams of the world. He is certainly a candidate not only to be in Qatar, but also to win the qualifiers, which gives nothing in particular, but pride in being the best. The basis of the most Neymar title will make the world’s pentachampions a mega-powerful team.
We’re going to Argentina. Until December, albicelestes will have the inexperienced Lionel Scaloni in charge of the selection. While they started with a lot of doubts in the America’s Cup, they were leveling up and could be close to fighting the title. It is a mixed campus and will surely be in the top four, but for this there must be the conviction of the campus in what the technician intends to do. Now having Messi’s blessing, DT Scaloni can – at least until the end of the year – be safe.
Colombia and Uruguay are two very important campuses. I’m talking about campuses, because both coffee growers and charrúas have 16 or 17 top players, they have spare parts and their technicians can help athletes who make as good as the so-called starters. The Queiroz process in Colombia is beginning and although they were left out against Chile, they scored 10 points in Copa América and left a very pleasant impression in the first phase, where they got ideal score and no goals on their fence. If that European mentality that has its technician, manages to be part of the idiosyncrasies of the coffee footballer, Colombia will be the protagonist.
The Uruguay and Tabarez is already somewhat epic, the «master» adds 13 years in charge of the Celeste and has a contract until Qatar 2020. The squad is highly competitive and although it was left out in Peru, the charrúas will surely fight a quota. They added youth and technique to the middle area, where Betancurt, Vecino, Torreira and Valverde came with new blood to wear the T-shirt. Juventus, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Real Madrid are the teams where these great players are based.
Peru maintains a base with Gareca since 2015 and has had very good results with the hand of the former coach of Velez and Palmeiras, reaching a World Cup after 36 years and also reaching the final of Copa America. It is an experienced base, but it lacks perhaps a major spare or parts that are up to the task of those who start all matches, although that does not take away the competitive of the Rimac squad. His base of Gallese-Zambrano-Yotún and Guerrero make him a team of respect and that insurance in Lima will cost a lot to take away points.
Paraguay’s process is more uncertain, as Berizzo will still have to appeal to players of a long way and without visualizing, in the short term, young elements that can revitalize the albirrojo team. By history, Paraguayans have always been hard, but for now there is no change or reaction to be able to place it in that select group of countries that will fight to be in the Middle East in 2022.
Venezuela with Rafael Dudamel has shown interesting things, but it still lacks the daring that gives him credentials to get on the global plane. It is true that it is no longer that of yesteryear, that which the teams made four or five goals up, however, still does not have that weight to place them among the favorites to Qatar 2022.
The Equator and Bolivia seem to be the lowest. Ecuadorians, questioned for the underperformance and supposed problems of indiscipline, are very subject to the altitude factor in Quito. The same is true of Bolivians, as both teams do not have – today – outstanding players at the top individual level. That will not prevent that they will surely do a lot of damage in Quito and La Paz, so visiting the courts of Atahualpa and Hernando Siles and getting points there will be some feats.
The case of Chile we have commented on it cannedly, but I return to a fundamental premise and with more conviction than ever after Copa America. The selection has a stellar oncena, we do not have a campus as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay have, but ours can fight and show passages of competitiveness. But when modifying some parts or when there are absences the equipment loses power. He knows this and wheel is clear, so in this period – at the beginning of the road to Qatar – he must try and look for other alternatives that can give more weight and variables to the Colombian technician.
With 11 good players it is very difficult to sustain a long campaign and very variable moments, such as the qualifier. If Rueda wants to arrive, he understands that he must make changes to several options that did not give up or, that have already enjoyed multiple opportunities, without responding to the demand of a national combination.
There is still some time for a long sprint and often the count usually passes in the final meters. It doesn’t matter how it starts, but how it ends. Let’s face it, we all want to see Chile at the World Cup, so let’s put the lyrics aside and understand that to get to that appointment there are topics that can’t be crossed: locality is key and know where to earn visiting points. It will be a strenuous path, which for now has us not in the front row, however there is ground to go and move forward.
The content poured into this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.