To reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, Croatians and Brazilians experienced various emotions. If the Seleçao quickly put an end to the suspense, by stringing together the goals like pearls against South Korea (4-0 after 36 minutes, 4-1 final score), the Vatreni (the “flamboyant”), them , went all the way to a penalty shootout against Japan. In the fateful event, the team at the checkered flag was able to count on an exceptional goalkeeper: Dominik Livakovic dismissed three of the four Japanese attempts (1-1, 3-1 on pens).
After their brilliance in the previous round, and given the number of talented players in their squad, Neymar’s Brazil – scorer for their return in the round of 16 after his ankle injury – are favorites for this quarter-final . For the Balkan country, which has less than four million inhabitants, reaching the last four of the World Cup for the third time in its young history (after 1998 and 2018) would be a remarkable performance.
Croatia-Brazil, Friday December 9, at 4 p.m., at the Education City stadium, in Al-Rayyan, can be followed on BeIN Sports 1 and live on Lemonde.fr
Netherlands – Argentina
This poster between the Oranje and the Albiceleste inevitably recalls memories of the summer of 1998. Twenty-four years ago, the two selections were already opposed in a quarter-final of the World Cup. Won by the Dutch, the match was marked by a breathtaking (and decisive) goal signed Dennis Bergkamp, at the Stade-Vélodrome in Marseille.
Today, the selection of the Netherlands is no longer as flamboyant as it was then, but it has had the merit of being effective since the start of the tournament. In the round of 16, the men of the experienced Louis van Gaal dominated the United States (3-1), after beating, in particular, Senegal (2-0) and shared the points with Ecuador (1 -1) in the first round.
Put in difficulty by Australia for half an hour, Argentina was able to count on the aptly named Lionel Messi. Author of the first goal for his team, number 10 showed that he still had fire in his legs at 35 (2-1 victory). For the seven-time Ballon d’Or, this is surely the last chance to win a World Cup.
Netherlands – Argentina, Friday December 9, at 8 p.m., at the Lusail stadium, can be followed on TF1, BeIN Sports 1 and live on Lemonde.fr
“Why not win the World Cup! » Morocco may be the surprise guest of these quarter-finals, after qualifying against Spain at the end of the penalty shootout (0-0, 3-0 on pens), their coach, Walid Regragui, saw even further. Facing Portugal, the Atlas Lions now have the opportunity to become the first nation on the African continent to reach the semi-final stage.
Without pity, without complex and without Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese delivered a real demonstration in front of Switzerland (6-1 victory) in the previous round, which places them as serious contenders for the final victory. The Seleçao das quinas (“the team of shields”) addresses this meeting in a context troubled by the Ronaldo case: according to the newspaper Recordthe Portuguese superstar would have thought of leaving the selection, because he would not have supported being on the bench of substitutes during the round of 16 – information denied by the Portuguese football federation.
Morocco-Portugal, Saturday December 10, at 4 p.m., at the Al-Thumama stadium, in Doha, can be followed on TF1, BeIN Sports 1 and live on Lemonde.fr
In rugby, it is called the “crunch”, in football, this poster does not yet have a nickname, surely because the two selections do not have as many opportunities to meet. The last France-England in an official match dates back to 2012 (draw 1-1, during the Euro) and, to find traces of it in the World Cup, you have to go back to 1982 (3-1 victory for the English in the first round). None of the players who will be on the match sheet on Saturday were born at the time.
Winners of Poland in the round of 16 (3-1), Kylian Mbappé’s Blues will face an efficient England, which easily disposed of Senegal in the previous round (3-0). On paper, this France – England appears to be the best poster for these quarter-finals of the 2022 edition. For the Alsatian Arsène Wenger, who coached the Arsenal club for more than two decades, that’s all merely “the final before the hour”.
France-England, Saturday December 10, at 8 p.m., at the Al-Bayt stadium, in Al-Khor, can be followed on TF1, BeIN Sports 1 and live on Lemonde.fr
Our selection of articles on the 2022 World Cup
Find all our content on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, from November 20 to December 18.
- Know everything : The calendar, the results, the rankings, the “unofficial” guide to the 2022 World Cup
- Investigations: France-Qatar, a friendship full of resources; Award of the World Cup to Qatar: Sarkozy, Platini and the takeover of PSG at the heart of the French justice investigation; For the environment, an event at the critical stage
- Report : To the Mbappé-Giroud duo, France very grateful against Poland
- Editorials: The World Cup of excesses; FIFA at the stage of blindness
- Decryptions: The delicate speech of footballers on human rights; The reasons for the discomfort; A very political “World Cup”
- Reports: In the “engine room” of Qatar, where live the immigrant workers whom Doha does not want to see; In Qatar, a pan-Arab festival atmosphere; At the University of Dakar, “when Senegal plays, we forget all our problems”
- Grandstand (Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International) : “By calling to ‘focus on football’, Gianni Infantino is trying to exonerate FIFA from any responsibility”
- Portraits: Walid Regragui, the new signature of the Atlas Lions; Harry Maguire, a certain idea of English football
- Chronicle: “Changing the method of calculating additional time in a match is to take the risk of breaking the game”; “With video refereeing, the goals are conditional, the emotions too”
- Podcast : Ecology, human rights, corruption: why the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a problem
- Video : A “carbon neutral” World Cup? What lies behind Qatar’s untenable promises; For the first time, a match will be refereed by women