After 36 long years, the Canadian national soccer team will be a part of this year’s FIFA World Cup. But excited and hopeful as the fans may be, how probable is it that Canada will get through the group stage and into the knockout phase?
The answer is, it’s more probable than you may think!
Tough Opponents, But Not Unbeatable
If you look at the national squads Canada will be up against in the group phase, it may seem like the team doesn’t really stand a chance.
For one, Croatia got all the way to the finals in the last World Cup Championship. They put up a good fight against France despite losing 4:2 and ending up in second place.
Belgium ended up right behind them, having beaten England in the third-place play-offs.
And despite finishing the last World Cup early on, never getting past the group stage, Morocco is still a strong contender. With Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui returning to the national team, they will be a tough nut to crack.
But there’s more to Canada than the team’s previous results would suggest.
“New Canada,” Says Coach John Herdman
The man that has transformed the Canadian national squad and pushed them all the way to position 33 on official FIFA rankings called his team the “New Canada” — and it’s not for nothing.
A lot has changed since the team’s last World Cup performance in 1986. Not only is the new team young, but it’s also led by a couple of star Canadian soccer players.
After suffering a serious injury a couple of weeks back, dedicated fans feared that Alphonso Davies might not be joining Canada’s World Cup team. This would have been a devastating blow to the national squad since Davies is by far one of its strongest players.
Lucky for the nervous Canadian fans, it has just been confirmed that Davies will be a part of the team selected to go to Qatar and represent the country!
Apart from him, Jonathan David and Cyle Larin are another strong pair that might give Morocco and the strong European teams a run for their money.
There are still many other top young Canadian soccer players who can make a difference in Qatar.
Now, all of this may not be enough to convince you that Canada can do the impossible. What might have a stronger effect are some numbers.
This infographic gives you all the details on the Canadian team, their opponents, and why Canada does stand a chance.