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Countdown to World Cup 2022: 29 days till the big kick off

With less than a month until the World Cup opening game, the tournament’s famous trophy has arrived in Brazil on its cyclic tour. Stay with us to remain up to date with the latest news ahead of the world’s most popular sports biggest event.

Lewandowski: Tough group, but I hope we can advance

In his interview for the FIFA official website, Poland’s captain Robert Lewandowski said they have been handed a difficult group alongside Argentina, Mexico and Saudi Arabia at the World Cup in Qatar but he believes they can progress.

The Polish side failed to get out of their group four years ago in Russia and the Barcelona striker is keen to avoid a similar outcome.

The 34-year-old said Argentina were one of the favourites to win the trophy and Mexico were always dangerous in major tournaments.

“With an absolute legend like Leo Messi as their figurehead, there’s no doubt that’ll be our toughest match. It’ll be great to take on such a great side with such talented players,” Lewandowski stated.

“Mexico fights all the way to the final whistle and never gives up. They have a combination of youth and experience, and we’re well aware of that,” the star added.

Poland kick off their campaign against Mexico on Nov. 22 before facing Saudi Arabia four days later and Argentina on Nov. 30.

FIFA World Cup Trophy arrives in Brazil

FIFA’s World Cup trophy arrived in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium on Friday, as part of the cup’s Latin American tour. The famous trophy will spend one day at the Maracana for fans to see it before travelling to Sao Paulo and remaining there on Saturday (October 22) and Sunday (October 23).

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For the first time, supporters from all 32 qualified nations will get the opportunity to see football’s top prize up close, as the World Cup Trophy Tour will come to an end in Doha, Qatar just a few days before the main event begins on November 20, 2022.

The trophy is considered one of the most expensive of its kind in sporting history, valued at USD 20 mln.

Big names to miss World Cup

For some star players, the World Cup dream is already over and a lack of form is not the issue. Portuguese attacker Diogo Jota sustained a calf injury in stoppage time during his sides (Liverpool) against Manchester City. His coach Jurgen Klopp confirmed the sad news at a press conference.

Meanwhile, England’s defence has been dealt a huge blow, as Reece James from Chelsea and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker have both been ruled out of Qatar.

Marred with hamstring problems this season, Chelsea’s midfielder N’Golo Kante is set to be sidelined for four months as he has recently undergone an operation. Kante was a vital part of the French golden team in Russia and has always shown great consistency for the national team.

French goalkeeper of AC Milan Mike Maignan is expected to miss the tournament as well due to a prolonged calf injury.

Schmeichel slammed for cooperating with Qatar

Legendary Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has come under fire after becoming a Qatari television expert at the World Cup.

Schmeichel will be one of the BeIn Sports channel experts along with former stars: Kaka, Alessandro del Piero, Gary Neville and David Villa, as well as coach Arsene Wenger.

Since Denmark has consistently condemned Qatar for violating human rights, the inhuman conditions of foreign workers who built stadiums, and greatly restricted women’s rights, Danish media called Schmeichel’s decision “a disgrace”.

Four years ago during the World Cup in Russia, Schmeichel made another controversial decision to become a pundit for Russia Today, and his photos with Vladimir Putin resurfaced after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier in September, the Danish TV channel TV2 immediately dismissed another of the country’s football legends, Brian Laudrup, who was to be the station’s World Cup pundit, for participating in an advertising campaign promoting Dubai as a great place to live. The daily “Politiken” terminated the contract of the former player for the same reason.

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