5 top teams that are struggling following the 2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 FIFA World Cup was a football anomaly. Not only was it the first winter FIFA World Cup since the tournament’s establishment in 1930, but it was also staged in the middle of a season.
It was a welcome change of pace for the audience. It was a nightmare for some of the biggest football clubs, who are expected to compete for every championship.
Many of their players have returned exhausted, lacking the vigor that rendered them unplayable in the early half of the 2022-23 season. Some appear to be depressed, presumably as a result of their country’s bad performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Finally, there are a few world-beaters who have become rusty as a result of the month-long mid-season break and have yet to recover their pre-World Cup form.
Today, we will look at the five top teams who have suffered the most since the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Let’s get started without further ado.
Liverpool is the fifth-largest Premier League club. Since the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Liverpool has lost three and drawn one of their six games. They returned to post-World Cup play in the worst conceivable way, losing 3-2 to Manchester City in the EFL Cup.
They responded with wins over Aston Villa and Leicester City in the Premier League, but their excellent form did not endure. On January 1, they were defeated 3-1 by Premier League opponents Brentford.
On 7 January, they drew 2-2 with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Finally, on January 14, they were humiliated 3-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
None of their key players, including Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, have been able to set a good example. Jurgen Klopp must find a method to persuade them to sign in order to break out of their post-World Cup malaise.
AC Milan won the Serie A title in the 2021-22 season, playing outstanding football from start to end. This season, Napoli has emerged as the Serie A frontrunners, and second-place Milan has thus far failed to put enough pressure on them.
Since football restarted following the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Milan has been all over the place. Since then, they’ve played four games, losing once, drawing twice, and winning once. They drew 2-2 with Serie A opponents AS Roma on January 8, allowing Napoli to take the lead.
Torino defeated them 1-0 in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 four days later. On January 14, they were anticipated to reply with a convincing performance against Leece, however once again cut a frustrating figure, drawing 2-2.
Milan now trails Napoli by nine points after 18 games. Keeping up with Partenopei is becoming increasingly unlikely for the defending champions.
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Manchester City, one of the world’s most reliable teams, has been rusty since returning to play after the World Cup. Pep Guardiola’s men have suffered two defeats and a draw since returning to action on December 23.
On December 31, City drew 1-1 with Everton at the Etihad Stadium, missing an opportunity to put pressure on league leaders Arsenal. City were knocked out of the EFL Cup quarter-finals by Southampton on January 11.
On 14 January, they were defeated by Manchester United. They got their noses in front of the through Jack Grealish in the 60th minute, but Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes turned the game on its head, taking United to a 2-1 victory.
On January 1, they were defeated by second-placed Lens. Despite the efforts of World Cup Golden Boot winner Kylian Mbappe, they struggled to create scoring chances while missing Neymar and Lionel Messi. The game concluded 3-1 in favor of Lens.
On January 15, they were defeated once more, this time by Rennes. They had Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe on the field in the second half, but they were unable to prevent their opponents from defeating them 1-0.
Neymar, in particular, has been a huge disappointment since the World Cup. The Brazilian superstar has been sent off once and had a yellow card in three appearances since the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Real Madrid, last season’s European, La Liga, and Spanish Super Cup champions, have battled to find their feet after the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Carlo Ancelotti’s team has been underwhelming in control and has lacked the lethal touch, losing crucial games against great opponents.
Los Blancos suffered their second setback of the 2022-23 La Liga season on Saturday, 7 January, falling 2-1 at Villarreal. The defeat dropped them three points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona in the standings.
They faced archrivals Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia on January 15. Despite playing against their bitterest rivals, Madrid lacked the drive to damage Barcelona and were defeated 3-1. If it hadn’t been for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’ heroics (three saves), the scoreline could have been a lot harsher.