Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, Tunisia – only three of the nations rank higher than World Cup 2022 Hosts Qatar in the FIFA rankings.
It’s fair to say that if a side with as much World Cup experience as Botswana hadn’t put on the damn thing, they certainly wouldn’t have had a ball in the pot in last Friday’s draw.
And few will give Qatar much of a chance to emerge from an intriguing Group A which includes a Dutch side with some world-class talent and a Senegalese side led by Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane.
But how have previous World Cup hosts fared on home soil? Can Qatar reach the final stages? Or will they crash and burn before their own followers?
history on your side?
Well, one of the best examples of a side fueled by a vociferous home support didn’t come until 2018, when a rather limited Russian side – inspired by Denis Cheryshev, who played the best football of his career – reached the quarter-finals and knocked out the much-loved Spain on the way.
South Korea did even better in 2002, finishing fourth after topping their group and beating Italy and Spain (La Roja find themselves on the wrong side of history again) en route to the semifinals. Meanwhile, co-hosts Japan reached the round of 16.
Brazil finished fourth on home soil, as did South Korea. However, the most successful team in World Cup history does not look back on the 2014 tournament with the same nostalgia that South Korean fans did in 2002.
That 7-1 win over Germany was all the more humbling considering it took place on their own sacred turf.
Glorious days ahead? Hosts who won the World Cup
Six teams have won the World Cup on home soil. Uruguay 1930, Italy 1934, England 1966, West Germany 1974, Argentina 1988, France 1988.
In addition, Sweden, Chile, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and Russia experienced their best ever World Championships in familiar surroundings. And while South Africa were eliminated in the group stage in 2010, they still held their own, defeating a crisis-stricken France while a bevy of vuvuzelas buzzed from above.
In 2022, of course, Qatar are guaranteed to set a new personal best for promotion to the World Cup, as they have never set foot on the international stage before. But the remarkable success enjoyed by relatively continental minnows like South Korea, Japan and Chile should give Qatar hope they can thrive — and not only to survive – in 2022.
In other news, Eddie Howe’s £15million outcast could now find the escape route to Newcastle
https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/04/09/quarter-finalists-qatar-how-previous-world-cup-hosts-have-fared/ Quarterfinalist Qatar? That’s what happened to previous World Cup hosts